Premises should be forced to show food hygiene ratings, says LGA

All premises that sell food products should be forced to display their food hygiene rating on the door, the Local Government Association (LGA) has argued.

Council environmental health teams score food outlets in their area on a scale of zero to five based on considerations such as cleanliness, food management and cooking processes, but current laws mean that premises in England are not required to display this score to customers.

The LGA claims that this should become mandatory, as it can protect people from the risk of eating poorly prepared food in unhygienic kitchens and improve consumer confidence.

Councils regularly take action against poor hygiene standards, such as prosecuting outlets for cockroach infestations and dangerous structural failures, and the LGA says that a ‘Scores on the Doors’ policy would also greatly reduce costs of this enforcement action.

Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “Forcing all food outlets in England to display a hygiene rating would help to crack down on and expose businesses that flout the law and put people at risk by incentivising them to improve or maintain high hygiene standards and show customers how seriously they take the issue.

"A good food hygiene rating is good for business and people in England should also now be able to use it to decide if they are happy with their choice of food outlet, or would prefer to go somewhere else with higher standards.”