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Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS) - 'Scores on the doors'

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Monday 10 March 2014

Consumers will soon be able to make informed choices about where they eat and shop for food locally. Since October 2013, Environmental Health Officers have been giving food businesses a hygiene score at inspections and on 10 March 2014 the 'scores on the doors' rating scheme will be officially launched. It is anticipated that all remaining eligible premises will be rated by the end of the year.

Mark Dorey, Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) Minister said:

"The HSSD Board recognises the benefits of good hygiene in reducing the risks of ill health and fully supports this initiative. The drive to satisfy customers with good 'Scores on the doors' provides an excellent incentive for businesses to achieve the required standards. This reduces the need for involvement by Environmental Health Officers. A good reputation for tasty food does not always equate to a good standard of hygiene and now everyone will be able to see how well businesses perform."

Tobin Cook, Deputy Chief Environmental Health Officer, commented that:

"A similar scheme has been in place in the UK for a few years and has proved highly popular with consumers as they can make informed choices about where to eat. Through publication of current star ratings and the display of the star stickers it is anticipated that this information will encourage very good standards of hygiene in all food businesses. The recently published list demonstrates that high standards of food hygiene can, and should, be achieved by all food businesses regardless of their type or size".

Whilst it is not currently mandatory for businesses to display the star rating sticker, all businesses will be provided with a sticker (including those stating that the premises are exempt or awaiting rating) and current ratings will also be published on www.gov.gg/fhis. This will ensure that the public can readily access information and may draw their own conclusions if a star rating sticker is not being displayed. The published list will be regularly updated as additional premises are rated and to reflect any changes to businesses that have already been rated. All premises that are in the scheme should be rated by the end of the year.

-ENDS-

Further information

Which Businesses Are Given A Hygiene Rating?
How Is The Star Rating Calculated?

Following an unannounced visit, officers will give a score for the standard of hygiene found at that time. This includes a review of:

Will All Businesses Get A Star Sticker?
What Do The Ratings Mean?
What Happens If A Business Fails Their Inspection?

There is no pass or fail, but following an inspection Officers ensure proportionate remedial action is taken. Most businesses are receptive and keen to improve so only need written advice. Where businesses fail to improve after warnings, enforcement notices may be served and if these are not complied with legal action may be necessary. In a few cases where totally unacceptable practices and conditions are discovered businesses have to close until improvements are made.

Should I Only Shop Or Eat At Five Star Businesses?

Businesses that do not achieve at least three stars at their inspection will be targeted for improvement and will receive extra visits by Officers. The Food Hygiene Information Scheme intends to provide consumers with information about the hygiene standards found at the most recent visit. Standards may improve or slip between inspections but all businesses can achieve five stars as this reflects full compliance with Guernsey hygiene laws. As all businesses are issued with a sticker consumers may draw their own conclusions if a sticker is not displayed outside or in the business. Consumers may also view a full list of rated premises on the States of Guernsey website (www.gov.gg/fhis).

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