Food hygiene rating

Over half of Welsh food businesses scooped the highest ratings for their hygiene standards, Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething revealed today.

This announcement comes a year since Welsh businesses were legally required to display their ratings, with the FSA releasing a report on the success of the new regulations.

With a total 56% of business attaining the best possible rating in the year to November, the number of top-rated premises in Wales has increased 11% since the mandatory display rules were introduced in November 2013.

Mr Gething said: “Wales has led the way in the UK by introducing a statutory food hygiene rating system. I am pleased that the scheme – the first of its kind in the UK – has been so successful in the first 12 months of operation.

“The FSA report confirms that food hygiene standards have continued to improve. It also shows the scheme has provided important information for consumers when deciding where to eat out or buy food. This is a really good example of regulators working together with food businesses in support of a common agenda.

“While it is disappointing that some businesses with low ratings have failed to display their rating stickers, I am reassured that local authorities are tackling this and will continue to do so. The FSA have made a number of recommendations and I look forward to receiving further update reports on the operation of the scheme.”

Food hygiene ratings were originally introduced in Wales in 2010, but display was voluntary until The Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act was passed in 2013.

FSA in Wales director Nina Purcell said: “The [new] report focuses on food business compliance with food hygiene law since the introduction of the statutory scheme. It has been a motivating factor in raising food hygiene standards which in turn benefits consumers. Local authorities are to be commended for their role and commitment in delivering the scheme.”