Keep 'em peeled: look for food hygiene ratings at Christmas

By on 18/12/2012 in News

In the run-up to Christmas the eating out season is in full swing, which is why Birmingham City Council is asking people not only to check their menu but to check the eatery's food hygiene rating too.

Birmingham has over 8,000 food businesses across the city.  All registered food businesses are regularly inspected by officers within the Environmental Heath department.

The council has moved its hygiene scoring to the Food Standards Agency's national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (nFHRS), and kicked off the transfer by rating Aston Villa Football Club.  The Club achieved a rating of five.  The awarded score is between 0 (urgent improvement necessary) at the bottom, and 5 (very good) at the top.

Nick Lowe, Operations Manager Food for Birmingham City Council, said: “At this time of year eating out is very popular, whether it’s office Christmas gatherings or families deciding to eat out at a restaurant on Christmas day, there's a lot of business for restaurant and eateries during the festive period.  Therefore, we would urge people to check the premises food rating.

“A recent public attitudes survey showed that food hygiene when eating out and food poisoning are the main concerns people have about food safety.  By checking the nFHRS website – www.food.gov.uk/ratings – people in Birmingham will have the information they need to make an informed choice about where they buy and eat food in the city.”

The nFHRS operates across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and has been adopted by most of local authorities.  The overarching aim of the scheme is to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness (1 million cases annually with 20,000 hospitalisations and 500 deaths) and the associated costs to the economy (£1.5 billion annually).

For further information regarding the scheme please contact the Environmental Health Department on 0121 303 4111.  You can also download the free FHRS app at  food.gov.uk/app-android or food.gov.uk/app-itunes.

Ends

For more media information contact Karen Blanchette on 0121 303 6969.

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