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David Ward MP campaigns for compulsory display of food hygiene 'scores on the doors'
Bradford MP, David Ward, has tabled a Parliamentary Motion calling on the Government to make it mandatory for food establishments in England to display their hygiene rating scores under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
Having written to Bradford City Council and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon. Eric Pickles MP; David has tabled an Early Day Motion calling for an introduction of compulsory display of scores on the doors.
David's EDM calls on the Government to introduce an obligation for food establishments to display food hygiene ratings under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a voluntary measure that operates in England and Wales. Nearly all local authorities in England have adopted the Scheme, including Bradford.
Under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, Local Authorities inspect and rate the hygiene standards of food establishments from 0 to 5, with 5 being the best. Whilst these results are published online, the scheme currently does not require food establishments to display their ratings in their premises. This often results in only the top rated establishments choosing to display their results, leaving many customers completely unaware of the hygiene standards of their chosen establishments.
An introduction of a compulsory display of Scores on the Doors has been supported by several groups including the Chartered Institute of Economic Health. Numerous pieces of research, including from the Food Standards Authority, has suggested that compulsory display of scores on the doors led to measurable improvements in hygiene standards in areas that have implemented the policy.
In its reply to David, Bradford City Council said that the mandatory display of hygiene rating certificates is a matter the Food Standards Agency is currently looking into, but did not say whether it would implement the policy in Bradford unless it was introduced nationally. Compulsory display of scores on the doors has been implemented successfully in Wales where all local authorities have adopted the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
"The current Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is about increasing customer choice seeking to improve hygiene standards by raising awareness of where people are buying their food from.
"However, if people are still left unaware about an establishment's rating the scores on the doors scheme can only ever be partially successful in raising standards.
"The majority of people will not have the time or think to check a premises' rating online before going there, so it only seems fair that people are fully informed through the introduction of a mandatory display of scores on the doors.
"The introduction of a compulsory display of scores on the doors would not only give the customer a fair deal, but would also rightly provide recognition for businesses that maintain high standards and highlight those which do not."
EDM 1101: reads as follows:
"That this House calls on the Government to introduce an obligation for food establishments to display food hygiene ratings under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme commonly referred to as Scores on the Doors; notes that all these ratings are available online; expresses concern that currently only the top rated establishments choose to display their ratings in their establishments; expresses further concern that the majority of customers do not check hygiene ratings online and are unaware of the hygiene ratings of many of the food establishments they use; further notes that the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a voluntary scheme for local authorities; welcomes that the obligation for food establishments to display food hygiene ratings under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme would bring about improved hygiene standards; celebrates that this obligation would allow the public to make informed decisions about where to eat; and further welcomes that this obligation would rightly provide recognition for businesses that maintain high standards and highlight those which do not."
13th March 2014