Food establishments across the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area are now legally required to display food hygiene ratings.
That’s because the Food Hygiene Rating Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 and associated regulations came into force on October 7th. The new legislation means that the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is now mandatory. It replaces the voluntary operated by district councils and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) since 2011.
No matter what the rating of the food business, they are now legally bound to display the rating sticker given out by the council following inspection. This can range from ‘5’ which means the food hygiene standards are very good, down to ‘0’ where urgent improvement is necessary. This instant and visible hygiene rating information will help people choose where to eat out or shop for food, including restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways as well as supermarkets, other food shops and hospitals, care homes and schools.
The scheme has been endorsed by the Mayor of the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey: “This new legislation is welcomed as it will have major benefits for consumers, enabling them to make more informed choices on where they wish to eat or buy their food. Currently 90% of food business across the Causeway Coast and Glens area, that are within the scope of the scheme, have attained hygiene ratings of 4 (good) or 5 (very good). Council’s food team have been working with businesses to prepare them for the introduction of the new legislation and assist those with poorer ratings to improve standards with many working towards attaining a better rating.”
Over the next few months more stickers will be seen, displayed in locations where they can be easily spotted before you go in to get food. Next year, as a result of a further regulation, businesses which offer on- line ordering of food will need to publish their rating online so it can be seen before an order is placed.