Derry’s public can now find out just how clean their favourite eating house is online.
Derry City Council is one of the first local authorities to roll out the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme which ranks food businesses’ cleanliness on a scale of zero to five.
To mark food safety week, hundreds of local restaurants, takeaways, cafes, delis, supermarkets and even school canteens have been rated by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with Derry City Council and posted online. Members of the public can check if their favourite restaurant is above or below par by logging on to www.food.gov.uk/ratings.
Patrons can also look out for the striking green and black stickers and certificates inside food businesses.
Under the scheme, food businesses are rated 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.
Genevieve McWilliams, Senior Environmental Health Officer with Derry City Council, was glad to report that most local food businesses came through hygiene checks with favourable results.
“The interest from food businesses in the Derry City Council area has been exceptional with the vast majority of rated premises getting either the top rating or four out of five. Our local food businesses understand that getting a good food hygiene rating is going to be good for business.”
However, not all local businesses received such glowing reports with several rated at one with ‘major improvement needed’. No local businesses received a zero rating.
FHRS Michael Jackson, Head of Food Safety and Operations, Food Standard Agency in NI, said: “The aim of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is to help people make informed choices around the purchase of food – wherever they eat or shop. Would-be diners can now ‘look before they book’ by checking out the Food Hygiene Rating online at www.food.gov.uk/ratings. People can also look out for the scheme’s new green and black stickers and certificates that food businesses are being encouraged to visibly display in premises, not just in Northern Ireland, but throughout the UK.