People want to know how hygienic their favourite restaurant, takeaway or shop is and the Food Hygiene Information Scheme provides “at a glance” information about the standards of hygiene in food businesses both at the premises and on our website.
The scheme was developed in Scotland by the Food Standards Agency Scotland supported by local authorities, consumer organisations and the food industry and applies to all outlets supplying food direct to consumers.
There are over 800 such businesses in Argyll and Bute
The Food Hygiene Information Scheme “opens the doors” on catering kitchens and retail shops where food is prepared or handled and is aimed at raising food hygiene standards and consumer confidence in order to allow people to make informed choices about where they eat or shop for their food.
Argyll and Bute Council introduced the scheme initially with Catering Premises and each food business within the scope of the scheme will be provided with a certificate and sticker showing how well they fared at their last food hygiene inspection.
There are two possible ratings that a participating food business may be awarded:
This indicates that the business meets the legal requirements at the time of the inspection and that management procedures are in place to ensure the provision of safe food.
This indicates that the business has not met the legal requirements at the time of the inspection and requires to carry out certain improvements in order to achieve a Pass standard.
Where a business has not yet been inspected because it is a new business or has changed ownership it will be issued with a temporary certificate advising consumers that it is “Awaiting Inspection”.
A very small number of businesses may serve or sell small amounts of low risk food as a secondary function and consumers may not regard them as food businesses. When such businesses are assessed it will be concluded that the food safety risk is negligible and they will be classified as “Exempt”. No certificate will be issued unless the business owner requests one and the exempt classification will be recorded in the register.
When certificates and stickers are issued the food businesses will be asked to voluntarily display them in a prominent position on the premises which is clearly visible to customers. It is anticipated that food businesses will be unlikely to display Improvement Required certificates and that consumers will draw their own conclusions regarding the absence of displayed information.
For further information on the Food Hygiene Information Scheme, whether as a food business operator or a consumer, please contact Environmental Health.
To see the current rating for businesses within Argyll and Bute, visit the Food Standards Agency website.
In addition to the Food Hygiene Information Scheme there are two food related award schemes available to Scottish food businesses – the EatSafe Award and the Healthy Living Award. For further information contact your Local Environmental Health Office.