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Calls for food hygiene ratings to be made visible online

by Sophie Haigh. Read time: 15mins | Jul 18, 2019

Online food delivery service, Just Eat, has become the first to publish food hygiene ratings for every restaurant on its platform.

Customers offering food can now view the latest Food Standard Agency (FSA) hygiene rating at over 30,000 restaurants and takeaways.  The move has been praised by food safety chiefs, who are calling on other food delivery services to follow suit.

The move follows a trial in Northern Ireland where the hygiene ratings for over 600 restaurants were displayed on the Just Eat app and website. A new initiative was also launched earlier in the year by the delivery service called the #1million scheme; aimed at providing training programmes to improve standards in restaurants with ratings of three out of five or less.

FSA chairman, Heather Hancock, said: “I am pleased to see Just Eat taking the lead by making this positive step to publish the food hygiene ratings for businesses on their website.

“Having this transparency allows consumers to consider food safety when choosing to order food online and will help drive up standards across the sector.  I encourage others in the sector to follow suit.”

Displaying food hygiene ratings goes a long way in building customer trust and boosting your chances of a better reputation. Some 70% of consumers recognise the distinctive green and black sticker and according to the FSA, ratings of 3 to 5 are acceptable to consumers; so if your business comes into that category then you must take the opportunity to make it public knowledge. Eight in 10 people questioned by the FSA also responded to say that it is important to know the hygiene rating of a business before they purchase food from them.

Adding your hygiene rating to your website, social media pages and marketing materials will give potential customers added reassurance that you’re doing things right and will give them an extra incentive to ring up and book a table or pop down to your street food stand.

Whilst it’s currently not mandatory in England to display food hygiene ratings, Just Eat found that 93% of people believe it should be made compulsory for businesses to provide online access to hygiene information. The FSA are pushing to make display of ratings a legal requirement in England as it is in Scotland and Wales. If the new law does come in then you’ll need to be ready, but in addition to that, you’ve worked hard for a good rating so make sure and show it off!

To find out more about the benefits of displaying a rating, take a browse at a previous article we did focusing on why it’s so important here. If you’d like to find out more about food hygiene standards and the training on offer at NCASS, give our friendly team a call on 0121 603 2524.

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