An impressive 97 per cent of Derry food businesses have a food hygiene rating of three or above, however the message from hygiene experts is to check all hygiene ratings before visiting a venue where food is being prepared and served.
The scheme, which is operated by Derry City Council rates food businesses on a scale of zero to five, with zero meaning ‘urgent improvement necessary’ and the top rating of five representing a ‘very good’ standard of food hygiene. Those businesses with a rating of zero, one or two have hygiene standards below that expected by food law.
A spokesperson said: “Consumers in Derry can look out for the green and black food hygiene rating stickers which should be displayed on windows and doors to find out the rating of any food business in the area. If there’s no sign of a sticker then customers should ask or check online at food.gov.uk/ratings to make sure the business doesn’t have a low rating.
“This seven per cent statistic is great news for would-be diners in the area but what about the three per cent of food businesses that don’t. This is where the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme provides invaluable access to information about what goes on behind-the-scenes in all food businesses to check food is prepared hygienically and safely. The scheme allows you to check the rating of a business and if it’s below three, you can choose to switch to a business with a higher rating.”
Genevieve McWilliams Senior Environmental Health Officer at Derry City Council, said:
“The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a fantastic tool for all consumers in Derry to find out the hygiene standards of the food businesses in the area. Most people would like to think that the kitchens and food preparation areas in the places they buy food from are clean and hygienic.
The stickers make it easy for everyone to check a rating and if it is below three you should consider switching your choice rather than eat somewhere with a low hygiene rating. Our aim is to drive up standards so that all food businesses in the area have a rating of three or above.”