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Heading for the top in food hygiene

Heading for the top in food hygiene

Article date: 19 Oct 2010

Wetherspoon’s pubs continue to perform and score extremely highly in the area of food hygiene.

Indeed, Wetherspoon has consistently improved its scores and rating over the last two years and recently achieved a fantastic milestone, when its average rating rose above four stars, with 36 per cent of the 406 pubs assessed scoring the maximum five stars.

The ratings relate to inspections carried out by council environmental health officers, as part of a scheme known as Scores on the Doors.

The most important purpose of the Scores on the Doors scheme is to allow consumers to make informed choices about where they go to enjoy a meal or purchase food and, through this, to encourage businesses to improve hygiene standards.

Local authority enforcement officers are responsible for inspecting food businesses, to ensure that they meet the legal requirements on food hygiene. Under Scores on the Doors schemes, each food outlet is given a hygiene rating or hygiene score which reflects the inspection’s findings.

Importantly, scores are made completely public via the Internet, where consumers can see the scores for all of the businesses in any chosen area. Scores are from a minimum of zero to a maximum of five (five being ‘excellent’). The Food Standards Agency hopes to launch a fully national scheme shortly. However, currently, just some 200 local authorities operate the scheme; together, they have assessed and rated 406 Wetherspoon pubs. Of those Wetherspoon pubs rated, 148 have a five-star rating, with a further 164 obtaining the four-star rating.

Wetherspoon’s head of retail audit, James Ullman, sees this as a fantastic achievement: “Our aim is obviously to offer our customers the highest standards at all times, and we are immensely proud that our average rating is now over four.

“It is very important for us that this score is not only among the best in the UK, but also that it has risen consistently over the last two years, demonstrating that we use the scheme’s findings to identify areas where we can make changes or improvements. As such, this type of scheme can only help to raise standards generally and allow members of the public, just as it sets out to do, to make informed choices about where they eat.”

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