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Food: Hygiene

Question for Department of Health

UIN 115995, tabled on 27 November 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the Government plans to introduce the compulsory display of food hygiene ratings for shops and restaurants.

Answered on

5 December 2017

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) considers that the mandatory display of food hygiene ratings in England would be beneficial and is using the evidence from Wales and Northern Ireland to build a strong case. The FSA is exploring how a statutory scheme could be delivered in England, including display of ratings on online food ordering platforms, as part of their work to deliver a new model of regulation for food businesses – the Regulating Our Future programme, which is expected to have changes to the regulatory system in place by 2020.

The Regulating Our Future programme is redesigning how food businesses are regulated for food safety, and as hygiene ratings are currently based on local authority inspections of food businesses it is important that the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is part of those considerations. Embedding FHRS into the future model of food regulation will ensure we have a robust and credible scheme that continues to deliver benefits for consumers

As a result of further regulation under the statutory scheme in Northern Ireland, it is anticipated that next year businesses which offer on-line ordering of food will need to publish their ratings online so that they can be seen before an order is placed. Wales is also considering introducing further regulations to require the promotion of food hygiene ratings on food businesses’ websites.

The FSA remains committed to the successful and trusted FHRS. The FSA will continue to ensure the FHRS is sustainable and work towards the introduction of a statutory scheme that would require mandatory display of ratings in England as is the case in Wales and Northern Ireland. The Government will consider the case carefully once it is available.