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New Legislation for Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

07 October 2016

As of today, 7 October 2016, it will be a legal requirement under the Food Hygiene Ratings Act (Northern Ireland) 2016, for all food outlets to display their food hygiene rating sticker. Food outlets are rated on their hygiene standards found at the time of inspection. They can be rated from zero, meaning urgent improvement is necessary to five, which means the hygiene standards are very good.

The sticker must be positioned so that it can be readily seen and easily read by customers before they enter the premises when it is open for business. The scheme itself provides information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, caf├ęs, takeaways, hotels and supermarkets. This instant and visible hygiene rating information will help people choose where to eat out or shop for food.

Colin Kelly, Environmental Health Manager for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council commented, “Although the scheme is coming in to effect today, it may take a number of months before every food business has their new stickers. Within our Borough, there are currently no food outlets that hold a zero food rating, whilst an impressive two thirds of our food outlets have achieved the highest rating of five. All food hygiene ratings are listed online at www.food.gov.uk/ratings so you can check them at any stage.”

Michelle O’Neill, Health Minister for Northern Ireland said, “I am delighted to see the Food Hygiene Rating Act, which was passed by the Assembly in December last year, coming into operation today introducing the requirement for food businesses to display their hygiene ratings. The voluntary Food Hygiene Rating Scheme introduced in the North in 2011 by the Food Standards Agency, in partnership with district councils, has been very successful. However, with display rates remaining low and an increasing demand for transparency by consumers, it was clear that legislation was required to ensure that all businesses provide this information. Implementation of this Act will ensure that the public can easily see the standard of hygiene in businesses before they choose where to eat or purchase food from.”

For more information contact Environmental Health T: 028 90340 160 or E: [email protected] 

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott is joined by Colin Kelly, Environmental Health Manager and Kerry Gribbin, Environmental Health Officer to promote the new food hygiene rating legislation.