Food hygiene rating scheme
Customers will be better informed when eating out in Boston thanks to the introduction of a new scheme which tells them about the hygiene standards of food outlets.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is a national scheme, developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities, and provides information on food hygiene standards to help people choose where to eat out or shop for food.
Food outlets, such as restaurants, takeaways and pubs, are inspected by food safety officers from Boston Borough Council, to check that hygiene standards meet legal requirements. The hygiene standards found at these inspections are rated on a scale ranging from zero (which means urgent improvement necessary) to a top rating of five (very good).
These ratings are available for anyone to view on the Food Standards Agency website ratings
Food businesses have been given stickers and certificates and encouraged to display these at the entrance to their premises. This means that their customers can easily decide if they want to go in.
Councillor Stephen Woodliffe, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for environmental health, said: "We have joined the FHRS as we can see the benefits for local food businesses and the people that eat and shop in them. The public will be able to use the ratings when deciding which outlets to visit and we hope that food companies will recognise that displaying a good hygiene rating is good for business.
"When customers expect to see a rating, there is a real incentive for food businesses to seek to make improvements to their hygiene standards."
Catriona Stewart, head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the FSA said: "We are encouraging as many local authorities as possible to run the FHRS, so it's great news that Boston Borough Council is the latest to announce its intention to use it.
"Around one million people suffer from food poisoning every year, and our aim in introducing the scheme is to reduce this. The ratings will give consumers a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen when they eat out, or behind the scenes at the places they shop, before they make their decision about which place they prefer to visit."
Boston Sausage shop in High Street already has a top five-star rating to display. Pictured, from left, are Trevor Darnes, Boston Borough Council's principal environmental health officer (commercial), Boston Sausage manager Scott Palmer, and portfolio holder Cllr Stephen Woodliffe.