Record number of Welsh food businesses achieve top hygiene ratings
A record number of food businesses across Wales have achieved top hygiene ratings as the mandatory display scheme reaches its 10th anniversary.
According to the latest figures, 71% of Welsh food businesses now have the top hygiene rating of 5 – a jump from 44% from 10 years ago and the highest proportion of top scores on record.
Introduced in 2013, Wales became the first country in the UK to make it a legal requirement to display hygiene rating stickers in prominent places, such as the front doors and windows of food businesses.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme requires local authority teams to undertake inspections and give food businesses ratings ranging from 0-5. Currently 96% of businesses boast a rating of ‘3’ or above.
Food Standards Agency research has also shown that premises with higher ratings are less likely to have outbreaks of foodborne illnesses.
Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing Lynne Neagle, and Chair of the Food Standards Agency, Professor Susan Jebb, welcome the significant improvement in hygiene ratings for Welsh food businesses on the 10th anniversary of mandatory display of food hygiene ratings.
Lynne Neagle said: “Everyone in Wales deserves to enjoy their food, with full confidence that it has been prepared in a hygienic manner – the mandatory display of food hygiene ratings has done just that.
“Not only is it beneficial for consumers, but businesses too. And I’m delighted to see that the number of food businesses with a ‘5’ rating is the highest it’s ever been in Wales. I am thankful for the close and collaborative work of Welsh local authorities and the Food Standards Agency, in helping to implement the statutory Food Hygiene Rating Scheme over the last 10 years.
“The regular engagement with food businesses has been vital to the scheme’s success and helped in driving up food standards to where they are today.”
Professor Susan Jebb, Chair of the Food Standards Agency, added: “The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is rightly celebrated as one of the most significant public health achievements of the 21st century.
“The striking black and green stickers on display at restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and online, are a simple and transparent way of giving people the reassurance that food is being prepared and served in a clean and hygienic way, and the business is meeting its legislative requirements for food hygiene.
“The scheme allows people to vote with their feet or by a click of a button and choose those businesses that take food hygiene seriously.”
“I’m grateful to the Welsh Government for their commitment to making this a mandatory requirement which has been crucial to the Scheme’s success.
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