FSA To Provide Diners With More Transparent Food Hygiene Ratings

Jenni Hill Food Hygiene

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is said to be shaking-up the way it presents Food Hygiene Ratings on its website.

Diners have long been able to check restaurants’ Food Hygiene Ratings online but proposed changes to the FSA website could see more detailed information become available.

If the changes go ahead, diners will be able to see exactly where food businesses fall short of required standards. They’ll also gain an insight into the aspects of a restaurant that they aren’t typically able to see.

The website could soon disclose how hygienically the food is handled, the condition of the structure of the buildings, and the cleanliness of the facilities.

Visitors to the website will also be given contact details to request a thorough report outlining the inspector’s findings. The changes could prove embarrassing for business owners that fail to meet the required standards, with an increasing number of news websites now publishing the worst offenders.

Earlier this year, inspectors called for the compulsory display of Food Hygiene Ratings in order to celebrate those that comply while encouraging those scoring 3 or less to clean up their act.

Although restaurants across Wales have had to make their ratings public since 2013, those in England are free to decide whether to publicise their results or not.

The BBC’s Inside Out team filmed a hygiene inspection in Leicester, where evidence of mouse and rat droppings, dirty dishes and floors and mouldy kitchen surfaces was uncovered.

Andrew Wood, from the inspection team, said: “I find it frustrating [that ratings are not displayed].

“Members of the public are not always able to check the ratings online so in a way they are going into these places blind.

“It must also be frustrating for businesses that have achieved good ratings.”