Of course, when any consumer makes the choice to eat food in a catering establishment, their decision will be affected by the level of hygiene in the outlet. However, the Welsh government is seeking to put forward a new draft Bill, which will address concerns of consumers and is intended to help both the customer and the business alike.
What are these new plans? The government of Wales wants food businesses to be obliged to display their food hygiene ratings on site. This means that consumers can check the rating and there is transparency on the issue. The move will also increase the incentive on the business, to ensure that it has good and appropriate hygiene standards and will, hopefully, cut down the levels of any food-borne illnesses. The proposed legislation will cover a range of food businesses – from traditional eateries, such as restaurants, but also other food outlets too, such as takeaways and supermarkets.
There is a proposed scoring system which will be put in place to rate the quality of food hygiene of the food business. Top scores will be a 5 and the lowest score, which indicates the need for urgent improvement, is 0. If a business fails to display the notice of their food hygiene score, there will be penalties of £200 and fines of up to £1,000. The Food Standards Agency will also make funds available to local authorities, to allow them to undertake 'advisory visits' to businesses so that they can learn how to improve their scores.