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Giving the gift of food safety this Christmas

Food businesses

17 November 2022

A food Safety sticker being placed in a window

Many of us will be heading to eat over the festive period as we celebrate with colleagues at work parties, meet up with family or friends, or head to our local favourite eatery to start the holidays.

There may be lots of decisions on where to meet and eat; trying to coordinate everyone’s diaries and finally agreeing on what cuisine. Did you know you can check your local restaurant's food hygiene rating to ensure you’re staying safe this Christmas?

It is quick and easy to check online and could save you or your colleagues or relatives having a miserable Christmas.

All food businesses selling to the public are given a Food Hygiene Rating after their unannounced inspection from West Northamptonshire Council’s Environmental Health Team.

"Our officers work with businesses all year round to ensure that they’re following the correct food and safety hygiene regulations to ensure our residents can dine out safely.

"It is really encouraging that the vast majority of food businesses who have been inspected by our food safety teams have a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

"However, there are still some businesses which do not meet the requirements expected, and have improvements to make to ensure food is safely prepared and stored for visitors.

"I’d encourage everyone to check the score on the doors for their favourite local restaurants this Christmas to ensure that they give the gift of food safety this festive time."
Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement and Regulatory Services

Scores are often displayed on the doors, but you can check them out quickly online.

Search for ratings - Food Standards Agency

All businesses are rated on a scale ranging from 0 (urgent improvement necessary) to 5 (very good).

During the inspection, officers check how well the business is meeting the law by looking at:

  • how hygienically the food is handled, how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
  • the condition of the structure of the building - the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation etc.
  • how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe, and staff knowledge and training

The owner is given feedback on any improvements they may need to make and how they can achieve a 5 (all businesses can achieve the top rating).

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