Posted: Mon 27th Nov 2023

Record number of Welsh food businesses achieve top hygiene ratings as mandatory display celebrates 10 years

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Nov 27th, 2023

In a landmark achievement for public health and food safety, Wales now boasts a record number of food businesses with the highest hygiene rating.

Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle, and Chair of the Food Standards Agency, Professor Susan Jebb, have welcomed this significant improvement as the country marks the 10th anniversary of the mandatory display of food hygiene ratings.

Since the introduction of this pioneering scheme in 2013, Wales has seen a remarkable increase in the number of businesses achieving the top hygiene rating of 5, rising from 44% to 71%.

The mandatory display of hygiene ratings in Wales – the first of its kind in the UK – has proven to be a key factor in driving up standards.

Today, 96% of Welsh food businesses display a rating of ‘3’ or above.

The clear visibility of these ratings at premises, coupled with online accessibility, empowers consumers to make informed choices about where they eat and shop for food.

Local authorities play a crucial role in this success story, with their teams conducting inspections and assigning ratings ranging from 0-5 based on hygiene standards.

In Flintshire over 1072 food businesses have a rating of 5, the highest possible score. Just 17 sit with a score of 2 or lower.

These ratings have also served as a competitive advantage for businesses, demonstrating their commitment to food hygiene and subsequently attracting more customers.

Research from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) indicates that premises with higher hygiene ratings are less likely to experience outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, underlining the public health benefits of the scheme.

Deputy Minister Neagle expressed her gratitude towards the collaborative efforts of Welsh local authorities and the Food Standards Agency in implementing and upholding the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme over the past decade.

She 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, commenting on the scheme’s impact, described it as a significant public health achievement of the 21st century.

She said: “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.”

“I look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship both with Welsh Government and Local Authorities to ensure people in Wales are still empowered to make more informed choices about where they buy and eat food every day.”

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