In the two years since the introduction of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in Wales, hygiene standards in food businesses are improving.
Recent data shows that currently more than 83% of businesses have a rating of 3, 4 or 5, compared with about 77% this time last year and there has been a decline in those businesses that have been given a low rating of 0, 1 or 2, from 23% in September 2011 to about 17% now.
Since October 2010, local authorities have inspected and rated about 20,000 food businesses across Wales and it is anticipated that by the end of this year, more than 90% of food businesses in Wales will have a rating. Ratings can be found online at:food.gov.uk/ratings or can be accessed on the move, for free via the app for Android and iPhone.
These findings are encouraging and show that the scheme is having the desired effect of driving up standards of food hygiene in businesses across Wales
Steve Wearne, Director of the Food Standards Agency in Wales, said: ‘These findings are encouraging and show that the scheme is having the desired effect of driving up standards of food hygiene in businesses across Wales, but work doesn’t stop here.
‘There is still room for improvement as every business is capable of achieving a rating of 5. Food safety officers will follow up with 0, 1 and 2 rated businesses to help them improve their rating. Importantly as well, consumers now have information to help them make informed choices about where they eat or buy food. Many businesses are displaying their stickers. If your favourite restaurant or takeaway isn’t, you should ask them for their rating.’
The Agency is working closely with the Welsh Government to build on the success of the scheme. The Welsh Government’s Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Bill proposes introduction of a mandatory requirement for food business operators to display their rating stickers from late 2013.