Hygiene scheme stretched to Worcestershire
Restaurants, pubs and bars nationwide could be seeking to invest in new hygiene solutions as the rollout of a national food hygiene standards scheme continues.
The new scheme, which is in the process of being expanded across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will mean that all food outlets will be measured by the same standard across Worcestershire and beyond.
Until recently a locally-run scores on the doors system has been in place to measure hygiene standards in Worcestershire restaurants, cafes, pubs and butchers.
But now Worcestershire Regulatory Services – responsible for environmental health, trading standards and licensing services – has launched the new national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in the county.
To adhere to the new standards, establishments may be looking to improve their on-site hygiene systems, many of which use hygienic pumps which handle low and high-viscosity liquids, gels and pastes.
Under the scheme, food outlets are visited by food safety officers to check that their hygiene standards meet legal requirements.
Inspectors rate hygiene standards on a scale of zero (urgent improvement necessary) to five (very good).
Ratings for businesses are available to view on the Food Standards Agency website and outlets are also encouraged to display window stickers and certificates.
Talking about the new initiative, councillor Lucy Hodgson, chair of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, said although the previous Scores on the Doors scheme was very successful, moving to the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme would bring benefits for local food businesses and their customers. "Having a single scheme which is consistent nationwide means that the ratings will have the same significance wherever people are buying or selling food – and that will help tourists visiting the area and businesses which trade across the Worcestershire border," she said.
"Worcestershire people will be able to use the information when deciding where to eat and we hope that food companies will recognise that displaying a good hygiene rating is good for business."
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