Eating out in the Chichester District
From April, a new scheme can help you decide where you want to eat out in the Chichester District. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme has been approved by the council and will be rolled out across the district from 4 April 2011. It will tell you about the hygiene standards of all local food outlets.
Ten authorities across East and West Sussex made a successful bid for £65,000 from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to introduce the scheme. Brighton and Crawley are already operating similar schemes.
This national scheme, developed by the FSA in partnership with local authorities, provides information on food hygiene standards. It will help you choose where to eat out, or shop for food.
"Food outlets, such as restaurants, takeaways and pubs, are inspected by our environmental health officers to check that their hygiene standards meet the legal requirements," says Cllr Heather Caird, Deputy Leader of Chichester District Council and Portfolio Holder for Health.
"The hygiene standards found at these inspections are rated on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom, which means urgent improvement necessary, to a top rating of five (very good).
"Generally, hygiene standards locally are good. However, this scheme will help better inform residents and visitors and will drive up standards even higher."
From April 2011, the ratings will be available for anyone to view on our website and on the FSA website. The business will also be given a sticker and certificate, and will be encouraged to display them at the entrance to their premises. This would mean you could easily see the rating, and decide if you want to go in.
"We hope that companies will recognise that displaying a good hygiene rating is good for business. When customers expect to see a rating, there is a real incentive for businesses to make improvements to their hygiene standards," adds Cllr Caird.
"One way businesses can improve their rating is by adopting a food safety management system, such as the FSA's Safer Food Better Business pack. This toolkit contains a series of easy to understand safe methods for cooking, chilling, cleaning, cross contamination and management."
Catriona Stewart, Head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the FSA says: "We are encouraging as many local authorities as possible to run the FHRS, so it's great news that Chichester District Council, along with nine other Sussex local authorities, are announcing their intention to use it. This means that those who live in Chichester, and the many visitors who travel to the area from across the country, will have a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen of food outlets before they make their decision about which place they prefer to visit."
For details on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme or to get hold of a Safer Food Better Business pack, please contact our Commercial Safety Team.