Bolton council has announced that the number of food businesses achieving the top two ratings for food hygiene has risen by almost 10% between 2012 and 2013.
So far in 2013, a total of 1258 premises achieved either a 4 meaning good or a 5 meaning very good, which was up from 1150 in 2012.
Since Bolton council starting using the Food Standards Agency’s National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, in January 2011, over 730 businesses have been assessed as having the highest rating 5, 520 with a rating of 4 and 433 with a rating of 3. Around 88% of Bolton’s food businesses are now classed as broadly compliant with standards of food safety.
However, the council’s food team also has a vital role to play in improving food hygiene and standards in the premises which are not compliant. In 2012-13, the team focused on the premises not achieving a satisfactory standard in food hygiene. 35 food businesses were required to close down for a period to enable the operator to bring conditions up to a minimum standard, seven premises voluntarily disposed of unsound food and in four premises, officers seized unsound food themselves, which was later condemned and destroyed.
A major prosecution against operators of a takeaway food business, The Nile was successfully concluded in Crown Court resulting in community orders and the issuing of a prohibition order against the premises and equipment by the judge.
Cllr Nick Peel, Executive Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We are delighted that the number of category 4 and 5 businesses has continued to rise in Bolton, meaning that our residents have an increased number of high quality food establishments to choose from.
However, the food team will continue to work with premises which are not compliant with our food safety standards, to educate them and where necessary enforce against these businesses to ensure they are not selling unsafe food to the people of Bolton.”