More action to infleunce restaurants to display and improve their food hygiene ratings could be taken in West Sussex.
Everyone who eats out is being encouraged by Trading Standards to answer a few short questions about the food hygiene of local businesses.
• Do you think that West Sussex food businesses should have to display their food hygiene rating?
• Do you buy food from businesses that do not display their food hygiene ratings?
• Is there a level of food hygiene rating that would affect your decision not to buy food from a business?
Trading Standards and other members of the Sussex Food Liaison Group, made up from representatives from all of the local authorities in both East and West Sussex, will use the results of the survey to influence local businesses and encourage them both to display and improve their hygiene rating.
Paul Hobbs, chairman of the group, said: “When displayed, a food hygiene rating sticker provides consumers with at-a-glance information about hygiene standards in the food businesses within their council areas.
“This enables them to make informed choices about where to eat.
“We are in full support of this survey and we hope that we can use the results as evidence to encourage low scoring businesses to improving their rating and put it on display”
Peter Aston, West Sussex Trading Standards manager, said: “Food hygiene ratings can be a great help when deciding where to eat and buy food from.
“Displaying a food hygiene rating benefits both the business and the consumers who eat there.
“That’s why we’re encouraging everyone in West Sussex to complete this survey which will in turn, help us to encourage low scoring businesses improve their rating.”
Debbie Kennard, cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said: “Your opinions can make a big difference when it comes to influencing local businesses and helping to improve hygiene ratings.
“So any time you can spare to answer these short questions would be really appreciated.”
The Food Hygiene Rating scheme gives businesses a rating from five (very good) to zero (urgent improvement necessary). It takes into account several factors including the handling of food, how food is stored, cleanliness of facilities and how food safety is managed.
At the moment it is voluntary to display of the food hygiene sticker is in England.
To find out the scores on the doors for local food businesses and to answer this short poll visit the council’s website.