Pub sector calls for hygiene scheme improvements

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hygiene rating scheme, Better, Improve, Red tape

Concern: respondents are worried about consistency
Concern: respondents are worried about consistency
The hospitality sector wants to see improvements made to the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. Around 550 people in the industry responded to the...

The hospitality sector wants to see improvements made to the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

Around 550 people in the industry responded to the Government's Red Tape Challenge, with the most talked-about food-safety topic being the Food Hygiene

Rating Scheme. A minority called for the scheme to be scrapped, but most were in support of the basic concept, subject to improvements.

The scheme requires inspectors to visit food-selling outlets and rate them from zero (urgent improvement needed) to five (excellent). The venues are then invited to display their rating for the public to view.

Red Tape respondents cited the biggest problem with the system as the lack of consistency across councils as local authorities are free to run individual schemes with a different systems.

This can cause confusion among consumers and the hospitality sector called for a single system for consistency across the country.

Some authorities, such as Westminster City Council, allow venues to pay for a second inspection to improve a rating and people wanted this to become standard nationally. Others in the

sector wanted more frequent inspections to add credibility to the scheme.

Despite calls for improvement, the move to display outlets' scores on their windows was praised overall.

In terms of cutting red tape in the industry, most respondents said they were happy with current regulations and wanted it to remain "robust" for the health and safety of the public.

Respondent Derek Robinson said: "The current food regulations are good as they are and in no way should they be relaxed."

Lee Staples said: "The regulations should be left as they are. We need a robust framework for the safety of food sold in this country."

However, several said that simplifying regulations would be helpful.

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