Horsham Food Hygiene Ratings scheme marks 18 month anniversary

Food Hygeine logo
Food Hygeine logo

Residents and visitors to businesses in the Horsham District will be pleased to know that Horsham District Council’s Food Hygiene Rating System has already shown signs of raising hygiene standards in the District just 18 months after it was first launched.

Around 79 per cent of Horsham District businesses have been rated as either good or very good (4 or 5) since the scheme was launched 18 months ago.

The national scheme, launched locally by Horsham District Council in April 2011, has been developed by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with local authorities throughout the UK.

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.

The scheme covers most businesses that supply food directly to consumers, including: restaurants, shops, cafes, takeaways, delicatessens, care homes, hotels and pubs.

The scheme provides consumers with at a glance information about hygiene standards in food businesses in the District.

All food businesses are subject to regular hygiene inspections by food safety officers to determine their ratings.

A number of businesses that were initially given a poor score have since liaised with the Council asking what they need to do to improve their rating.

Once the works have been completed, the businesses have requested a re-assessment and in each circumstance the rating has improved, demonstrating that many businesses recognise that a good food hygiene rating is good for business.

Each food business receiving a rating is issued with a sticker and certificate showing their rating which they are encouraged to display at the premises. Ratings are also published on a national website www.food.gov.uk/ratings

Councillor Sue Rogers, Horsham District Council’s cabinet member for a safer and healthier district, said: “It’s encouraging to see the response to the scheme since it was launched 18 months ago.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see that many business operators have a positive view of the scheme and see it as a way to help customers make informed choices about where to buy their food or eat out.”

For further information, please contact Horsham District Council by calling 01403 215421 or email paul.hobbs@horsham.gov.uk