Scores on the doors - nearly
9,000 businesses warned to get ready for new food hygiene legislation
44% of customers could physically turn
away from the front doors of nearly 9,000 businesses including restaurants, fast
food eateries, cafés and shops in the North West when food businesses in England
are legally required to display their food hygiene ratings, according to
research by commercial insurer NFU Mutual.
The NFU Mutual Food Hygiene Ratings Report, assesses customer attitudes, public
support for new legislation and its potential impact. It reveals that 44% of
people would turn away from even their favourite place to eat if a food hygiene
rating of less than 4 out of 5 was on display. According to the Food Standards
Agency, 8,903 businesses in the North West have a rating of 3 or less, and
therefore could be affected.
Commenting on the report, Darren Seward, Hospitality Sector Specialist at NFU
Mutual, said:- "Our report shows that when it comes to food safety
customers have naturally high standards and that a 'good' score can no longer be
seen as an aspiration but a minimum benchmark."
More than 84% of businesses in the North West that serve or sell food have a
food hygiene rating of 4 (good) or 5 (very good).
Darren continued:- "It's fantastic to see that 84% of food outlets in the
North West have a rating of good or very good and the industry as a whole is
taking real pride in food hygiene, but imminent compulsory displays are destined
to be a game changer for those businesses struggling to reach the top grades.
In advance of legislation changes all
business owners should prioritise their food hygiene plans and processes, acting
now to ensure that they have considered all hygiene and paperwork aspects rated
by their local authority including cleanliness, structure and confidence in
management, to ensure a continued rating of 4 or 5 for the day an inspector
calls. Our free NFU Mutual Food Hygiene Ratings Report contains advice to help
businesses achieve a top rating."
Wales and Northern Ireland have already subscribed to mandatory display of food
hygiene ratings schemes, with new legislation set to come into force in England,
by 20194, and a comparable Scottish scheme likely to follow suit. Mandatory
display means any outlet that serves or sells food must display its score in a
prominent place such as the front door or window.
Running in Wales since 2013, a mandatory ratings display scheme has been hailed
by its Deputy Health Minister as a big success story, helping to drive up
industry standards; so much so that the number of businesses with the highest
rating of 5, 'very good', has risen to 60.8%, in November 2016, from 45%
prior to the legislation coming into force.
The NFU Mutual report found that a law for compulsory display of rating stickers
in England and Scotland has gained the support of consumers, with 88% in favour
and 66% strongly so.
To request a free PDF copy of the full report