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Labour councillor pleads with parliament to enforce mandatory ‘scores on doors.’

MP makes plea in response to poor food hygiene ratings

Labour health spokeswoman and Burnley MP Julie Cooper will make a case in parliament for the mandatory display of food hygiene ratings at the entrance of all food premises. The request for a change in legislation comes as the result of increasingly poor food hygiene scores in Chorley where the number of food outlets scoring just one or zero in assessments by enforcement officers, has increased by almost 50% since September 2017.

Allowing customers to make a more informed decision

These views were echoed by Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle who said: “I am very concerned by this increase in poor standards;" and whilst the sharp increase of establishments with a score of zero or one shows that the council is at least being vigilant in their assessments, “we need to find out the reason for this surge from 10 to 14 low scores.” Hoyle was subsequently in agreement that “making it compulsory for all food outlets to display their score prominently” would better enable the public to make informed decisions about where they choose to eat.

Mandatory display encourages compliance, FSA confirms

Back in January, the FSA published a report which confirmed what we too had long suspected; not only is the FHRS an effective way of ensuring compliance and driving up food hygiene scores, its efficacy increases where the scheme is made mandatory. The report which was authored by the FSA’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Guy Poppy found that the scheme has ‘empowered’ diners when choosing where to eat and has allowed customers to choose businesses with higher ratings.

Looking to the future

There is now an increasing demand for the scheme to be made mandatory, not just by MPs but by the general public who want to exercise greater control of where they choose to spend their (increasingly reduced) disposable income. The latest research conducted by the FSA indicates that 84% of consumers think that businesses should have to display their food hygiene rating on site.

The FSA are working hard to ensure that we have a sustainable food hygiene rating system which works to benefit consumers and caterers alike, and which is befitting an ever-changing industry, which will likely result in the introduction of a mandatory display system in the not too distant future.

NCASS Director, Mark Laurie says:

“The compulsory display of food hygiene scores in England is long overdue and can only be good news for consumers and NCASS members. We have long argued that NCASS members regularly achieve the highest standards and greater public awareness of hygiene scores will hopefully mean greater recognition of the professionalism of our members and more sales as customers will be empowered by the knowledge they need to make informed decisions.“

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