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Food Standards Agency wants opinions on food hygiene safeguards

17 Oct 2018
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is requesting people's views on the food hygiene rating scheme's (FHRS) safeguards as part of its review.

The food hygiene rating scheme is a local authority and food standards agency partnership, which provides consumers with information about hygiene standards in in food premises, of which they are then given a rating of one to five, with five listed as ‘very good’.

In order to ensure that the scheme is fair to businesses, it has been designed to include a number of safeguards, including appeals, which is what the review will focus on, but will also look at the right to reply and requested re-inspections safeguards.

The purpose of the review is to ensure that the safeguards:

  • Are fair to businesses
  • Do not unnecessarily deny consumers access to information
  • Have a sound legal basis
  • Are understood by all key players
  • Are accessible for businesses
  • Are fit for purpose

The FSA will engage with local authorities and food safety professionals, as well as organisations representing businesses and consumers.

It will seek views on the current safeguards, and where necessary, will suggest improvements to the current system.

The FSA has said that they are ‘very keen’ to hear people’s views. Some may be approached as part of the review between mid-October and the end of November.

However, they have invited those with views on the current safeguards, experiences of viewing them or suggestions for improvements, to email with the subject heading ‘FHRS safeguards’ by 31 November.

It is planned that the review will be completed by the end of December and the report finalised early in 2019, after which it will liaise with key stakeholders to assess the report recommendations and establish next steps.