Mandatory Scores on the Doors will affect 43,000 businesses

By Stefan Chomka

- Last updated on GMT

Mandatory Scores on the Doors will affect thousands of businesses

Related tags: Food hygiene, Food hygiene ratings, Scotland, United kingdom

More than 43,000 restaurants and catering businesses across England could be affected when a law to make it compulsory for places that serve or sell food to display their food hygiene rating comes into force in 2019.

Some 44% of customers wouldn’t enter a restaurant if it displayed a hygiene rating​  - dubbed Scores on the Doors - of three or less out of the maximum five, according to a new report. There are currently 65,000 catering and hospitality businesses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland - 43,000 (18%) of which are based in England - that have a food hygiene score of three or below.

While the majority (82%) of English catering and hospitality businesses already have a rating of 4 or 5, according to the Food Hygiene Ratings Report from NFU Mutual, the findings highlight the potential negative impact for restaurants that only have a ‘fair’ (3) hygiene rating.

“A ‘good’ score can no longer be seen as an aspiration but a minimum benchmark,” says Darren Seward, hospitality sector specialist at NFU Mutual. “Imminent compulsory displays are destined to be a game changer for those businesses struggling to reach the top grades.”

It is already mandatory for food businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland to display their hygiene score in a prominent place such as the front door or window. The legislation is set to come into force in England by 2019, and a comparable Scottish scheme likely to follow.

Consumers were overall in favour of the compulsory displays, with 88% across England and Scotland agreeing with the rule, and 66% strongly so.

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