Councils have branded as "barmy" the FSA's decision to reject a five-star system for food hygiene in favour of a watered-down version.

About 80% of councils currently piloting Scores on the Doors use the five-star model, which ranks restaurants and supermarkets from poor to excellent. However, the FSA is expected to choose between a three-star model and a simple pass or fail scheme as it put out proposals for a national scheme to consultation this week.

One environmental health officer said the FSA had "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory". The FSA said it welcomed positive feedback about the five-star scheme.