The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is stepping up the pressure on restaurants with poor food hygiene ratings in the run up to Christmas.
In response to the results of a poll, released today, the FSA is urging consumers to check food hygiene ratings of restaurants on its website before booking meals over the festive season. The multimedia campaign is being driven by infographics, a mobile app, YouTube videos and business case studies on government websites.
It has also released a video for food businesses (below) about the benefits of achieving a high food hygiene rating and of displaying its green and black sticker. Ratings range from zero being the worst to five being the best.The poll found that four-in-10 of the UK public (41%) never check food hygiene ratings of the places they plan to eat in. This is despite 39% of people reporting that they had a bad experience when eating out and suspecting they contracted food poisoning from a restaurant or takeaway. The findings of the FSA poll show that one in four people (25%) plan to book their Christmas meals during this week and next. Nearly two-thirds (63%) say they will be responsible for booking a meal for family and friends this Christmas, with their biggest worries being that the food won't be enjoyable (26%). However, only 3% of people reported that restaurants' food hygiene standards were their main concern. Catriona Stewart, head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme, said: "We are urging everybody to look before they book if planning that special Christmas meal." Environmental health officer Emma Richbell added: "Most restaurants have a rating of three or above, however, as an inspector, I often think consumers would be surprised at which restaurants fall short of good practice." FSA publishes allergen law advice >>](/articles/352443/fsa-publishes-allergen-law-advice) [Marcus Wareing fixes Berkeley hygiene issues in "Rolls Royce" kitchen >>