Hygiene ratings go ahead in Wales23rd January 2013
Restaurants and cafes across Wales are to be forced to display their hygiene ratings in a prominent position on their premises.
It is the first part of the UK to adopt such a move after Welsh assembly members voted unanimously to introduce a law that will make the ratings – already displayed voluntarily - compulsory.
The ratings see businesses given a score of 0-5, depending on an inspection outcome with a mark of 5 showing very good hygiene standards, while a zero means urgent improvement is required.
Such scores must now be clearly visible, though the Federation of Small Businesses has raised questions over this approach.
Iestyn Davies, of the FSB Wales, said that his organisation felt the voluntary scheme was already working and there were “contradictions” in the proposed legislation.
However, Consumer Focus Wales countered with a concern that businesses could be given 21 days to appeal against the ratings, meaning a possible delay of almost two months before the information is displayed.
The legislation has been backed by Sharon Mills, whose son Mason Jones died in the largest E coli outbreak in Wales in 2005, which later saw a butcher jailed for breaking food safety laws.
She said it was important because the public deserved transparency and that she did not think the current voluntary scheme went far enough.
Professor Hugh Pennington, who chaired a public inquiry into the 2005 outbreak, said the system meant consumers could have trust in businesses and that displaying the rating amounted to a "certificate of approval".
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Wednesday 23rd January 2013 @ 14:28
The displaying of the ratings will, no doubt, help everyone though, initially, it may cause a little inconvenience to the owners of restaurants and cafes.
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