Food hygiene standards improve in Wales

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fifty-six per cent of Welsh businesses now have a food hygiene rating of 5
Fifty-six per cent of Welsh businesses now have a food hygiene rating of 5

Related tags: Food hygiene rating, United kingdom

Food hygiene standards in Wales have risen in the year since it was made compulsory for businesses to display their food hygiene rating.

Fifty-six per cent of premises now have a Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) rating of 5, an increase of 11 per cent over the first year.

The number of businesses with an FHRS rating of 1 (‘Major Improvement Necessary’) was halved to three per cent, and just 0.3 per cent now have a rating of 0.

Welsh Government deputy health minister Vaughan Gething said: “Wales has led the way in the UK by introducing a statutory food hygiene rating system.

“While it is disappointing that some businesses with low ratings have failed to display their rating stickers, I am reassured that local authorities are tackling this and are continuing to do so.”

Consumer awareness

Welsh consumers are now more likely to check an establishment’s food hygiene rating before deciding to eat there.

The FSA’s “Food and You” survey found that thirty-five per cent of customers did so, an increase of 22 per cent from 2012.

Twenty-nine per cent of people checked the rating on the internet, while 83 per cent used the information displayed on restaurant and takeaway doors and windows.

Extension of the scheme

Wales was the first UK nation​ to make it compulsory for any business selling food to display their food hygiene rating prominently, under the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013.

In December 2014 it was extended to cover trade-to-trade food businesses such as producers and wholesalers.

Welsh mobile food establishments are now also required to have a minimum FHRS rating of 3 when attending local authority sponsored events.

An FSA spokesperson told BigHospitality: “Mandatory display of food hygiene ratings offers additional benefits for consumers and those businesses that have good hygiene standards, and further encourage other businesses to raise their standards. We are pleased that there is already mandatory display in Wales and also pleased that the Northern Ireland Assembly is considering legislation that will make it mandatory for businesses there too. We favour mandatory display in England and have started to build the case for this and the Government will consider this evidence once available.”

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