Stop ‘dining in the dark’ in England

The LGA is calling for all businesses serving food to customers in England, including online food delivery outlets, to be forced to display food hygiene ratings to drive up hygiene standards and protect people from harm.

It is also calling for healthy food choices to be incorporated into the food hygiene ratings system to help tackle the obesity crisis.

The LGA is calling for a change in legislation following the success of the mandatory display of food hygiene ratings in Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as a rise in phone ‘apps’ and online menus people are using to order takeaway food.

Council environmental health teams score food outlets from zero to five based on factors such as kitchen cleanliness, cooking methods and food safety management.

Businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland are legally required to display their rating. However, in England, businesses do not have to display their rating, which means customers could be unaware of food hygiene levels when choosing where to eat or buy food, either at food premises or online.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

“With more people ordering takeaways online or on their phone, it should be mandatory for businesses in England to display food hygiene ratings on their menus online and on ‘apps’, as well as in their premises.

“Making the display of hygiene ratings compulsory in England would incentivise food outlets to improve or maintain high hygiene standards, reduce the risk of illness for customers, improve consumer confidence and save taxpayers’ money by reducing the need for – and cost of – enforcement action by councils.”

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