12/02/2015 - Permalink

Are you planning the perfect Valentine’s date?

Related topics: Community

Planning the perfect date can be stressful as there’s a lot to worry about, including of course whether you will get on, and if you will make a good impression.

So the last thing you want to think about before an important dinner is whether or not the place you choose takes food hygiene seriously.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme means you don’t have to.

The Food Standards Agency and Shropshire Council’s public protection team are urging you to ‘look before you book’, and check the food hygiene rating before deciding where to go on your special date.

The truth is, you can’t tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy the staff look or by how romantic the décor and ambience is.

It’s the things you can’t see, like germs being spread by bad hygiene practices, that you need to consider. There’s one easy way to set your mind at rest, check the food hygiene rating.  The rating tells you about hygiene standards in restaurants and other food businesses.

It’s really simple to check.  Just go online to the Food Standard Agency’s website: www.food.gov.uk/ratings, or if you’re out and about look for the green and black window sticker, or use the mobile app.  If the rating is not displayed just ask the staff.

The ratings are determined by public protection food safety officers, and range from 0 to 5, with a 5 rating meaning very good food hygiene standards.

Over 90% of food businesses are rated as 3 (satisfactory) or higher, so there are plenty of places with good food hygiene standards you can choose from.  This means you can easily avoid taking your special date to those places not meeting the grade.

Valentine’s is a busy time for food businesses and a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of.  So businesses should make sure they reassure their customers by putting a sticker up in the window.  Businesses with higher food hygiene ratings agree that can help bring hungry customers through the door.

Thousands of food businesses displaying a 3 to 5 rating say it made a positive difference to their business.

You can find out more at www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/hygieneratings.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for public protection, said:-

“When planning your special meal out, make sure you check the hygiene ratings online and choose a restaurant that takes food hygiene seriously. This is also an important time for local food businesses, as a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of.  It matters to customers, so we are encouraging all businesses in Shropshire to display their rating.”