Bolton Council is set to be one of the first in the country to introduce a new system for grading food premises.
The national scheme named the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) was developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities; food industry representatives and consumers groups to provide information on food hygiene standards to help people to choose where to eat out or shop for food.
The scheme will include all food outlets which prepare or sell food to the public, such as restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, supermarkets, bakeries, sandwich shops and delis
The hygiene standards found at each inspection are rated on a scale ranging from zero (which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’) to a top rating of five (‘very good’).
Bolton will be introducing the scheme across the borough from January 24. The ratings for each business will be available for anyone to view on the FSA website and the food business will be given a sticker and certificate which can be displayed at the entrance to their premises.
The new system means that residents and members of the public will be able to check out the food hygiene and cleanliness of a restaurant or sandwich shop prior to purchasing food there either on the website or by looking at the sticker or certificate at the premises.
Between now and January, over 2,000 businesses will be given their rating.
Councillor Nick Peel, Executive Member for Housing, Neighbourhoods and Regulations said: “We will be one of the first councils to implement the FHRS as we can see the benefits both for local food businesses and the people that eat and shop in them.
"The public will be able to use the ratings when deciding which outlets to visit and we hope that food companies will recognise that displaying a good hygiene rating is good for business.
"When customers expect to see a rating, there is a real incentive for food businesses to seek to make improvements to their hygiene standards and we hope that those who don’t receive a good rating will make improvements and ask us back to inspect them again.”