Sir: I’d like to clarify that the FSA has not launched a consultation on the impact of making the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme statutory (‘Hygiene red tape ‘will cost retailers £3.5m”, 24 November). We plan to do so in 2013 and will be inviting the food industry to comment.

A mandatory approach will strengthen the scheme by providing better access to ratings - research shows that only 32% of businesses in England are displaying their ratings where consumers can easily see them.

This will increase the scheme’s potential to improve public health protection and drive market competition. As with the current voluntary scheme, any improvements businesses need to make to get the highest rating will be no more than is already required by existing food hygiene law. Catriona Stewart, head of Food Hygiene Ratings Team, FSA