Friday, 17 February 2012


Food businesses across Thanet are being given the chance to find out more about a new national scheme that will rate food premises on their food hygiene, management and structure.

The national scheme provides consumers with information about hygiene standards in food business establishments by awarding a star rating door sticker and a certificate.

A series of seminars are being held by Thanet District Council’s Environmental Health team over the next few weeks to introduce businesses to the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme that is being implemented across the country by the Food Standards Agency.

Food businesses across Thanet have already been sent letters inviting them to attend the seminars, which will take place at the council offices. The first takes place on Wednesday 22 February at 7pm, with the second on Friday 24 February at 2pm. The final seminar is on Monday 12 March at 4pm. All are taking place in the Council Chamber in the council’s main offices in Cecil Street, Margate.

The scheme will rate businesses from zero to five stars, based on the routine inspections that the food safety team already carry out. It is already a legal requirement for businesses to meet hygiene regulations. All the inspections undertaken by the team from 1 March 2012 onwards will appear on the national website when the scheme launches in Thanet at the start of April.

Cllr. Clive Hart, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Regulatory Services, said: “In areas where this scheme has already been introduced, the public are using it to help them to decide where they want to go to eat or buy their food. I’m sure it will be just the same when it’s introduced in Thanet, as we all want to be sure that the businesses we’re using have good hygiene ratings. As such, this offers businesses in Thanet a great opportunity. A good rating is likely to be good for business, although of course these are not ratings of food quality or service standards in any particular place.”

He added: “Of course, getting this scheme in place will not be an overnight job, as our team have more than 1,000 food premises that they need to inspect, so it’s going to take some time. We have to start somewhere and it’s important for businesses to understand that, from the start of March, the results of all the hygiene inspections our team carry out will be published for the public to see. I hope those will be positive results and I’d encourage businesses to do everything they can to achieve the best possible ratings. The Food Standards Agency and the council can help them to do that.”

Certificates will be provided to businesses which are inspected from 1 March with details of their results. Certificates will also be available to businesses which have not yet been inspected, so that they can display these and show customers that they are still awaiting an inspection.  

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