Food Law News - UK - 2006

FSA News item, 6 November 2006

HYGIENE - Hygiene scheme boost for Scottish consumers

Scottish consumers can now see how well local food businesses have done in hygiene inspections thanks to a two-year pilot scheme being launched today.

Around 3,000 establishments will be displaying certificates prominently on the door or window of their premises. Each notice shows how well they did in their last hygiene inspection. These certificates, based on current inspection records, say ‘Pass’, or 'Improvement Required’. An ‘Awaiting Inspection’ certificate is available for new businesses.

The Food Hygiene Information Scheme is being run in Perth and parts of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Fife and Renfrewshire, and applies to all premises supplying food to the public in those areas. It was developed and implemented in Scotland by the Food Standards Agency Scotland with the support of consumer organisations, industry and local authorities.

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said: 'It's important that consumers can eat out safe in the knowledge that a restaurant or café meets hygiene standards. This scheme will give the public that peace of mind. I hope that this pilot project will help to drive up standards in the food industry for the benefit of consumers, businesses and everyone involved in the food industry. If this pilot is a success, then I will ask the Food Standards Agency to look at rolling out the scheme across Scotland.'

George Paterson, Director of FSA Scotland, said: ‘We hope this new scheme will increase consumer confidence and help people make informed choices about where they eat or buy their food.’

Julia Clarke of consumers' organisation Which?, said: ‘Which? research clearly shows people want to know how hygienic their local take-away or restaurant is. We’ve been calling for this for many years, so we welcome the decision by the Scottish councils to take this important step forward. This new pilot scheme will help drive up hygiene standards, people will be able to make informed choices and will therefore be able to eat out in confidence without risking their health.’

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