ALMR: Scores on the doors 'adds to red tape'

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Related tags: Red tape, Food standards agency

Pubs face an increase in red tape when the national Scores on the Door scheme comes into effect next year, the Association of Licensed Multiple...

Pubs face an increase in red tape when the national Scores on the Door scheme comes into effect next year, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has warned.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed that the hygiene rating scheme for pubs and other food businesses will have six tiers rather than the simple 'pass or fail' rating the trade had lobbied for.

The ALMR said the Government is adding to pubs' already substantial red tape woes, by doing nothing other than confusing food hygiene law.

Chief executive Nick Bish said: "We're disappointed that the FSA has decided to press ahead with the rollout of this ridiculous scheme. What is it actually trying to achieve? Food outlets are either complying with hygiene regulations or they're not.

"The FSA would do far better to leave local authorities to focus on tackling those that are not.

"If we are going to go down this route, at least they have chosen to make the display for the scores voluntary."

Bish added that the six-tier system will make the scheme confusing, defeating the object of the exercise. "How will a customer differentiate between premises that have four stars or five stars; what is the subtle distinction in cleanliness standards?

"As with so many well intentioned initiatives, the result is pointless red tape and overzealous regulation. It is the smaller operators who will be hit most because fundamentally it's a diversion of effort and expense from serving the customer."

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