The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is calling for local authorities to adopt its Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRC).

The FSA has announced a number of measures to address concerns of local authorities hesitant to adopt the new scheme. These include a 'priorities fund' to cover local authorities' costs after adopting the scheme, and a partnership between the FSA and Transparency Data, which runs the current Scores on the Doors website, to better integrate the data of the two schemes.

The FHRC was introduced as an alternative to the Scores on the Doors hygiene rating scheme across England and Northern Ireland in November 2010. Currently, 163 local authorities use the FHRC scheme and 125 use Scores on the Doors.

FSA chief executive Tim Smith said the operation of just one scheme would aid transparency. "With a single scheme, consumers know that from Penzance to Preston, Belfast to Brecon, the same criteria have been used to rate premises," he said. "These measures bring us closer to providing readily accessible ratings to consumers and consistency for businesses."

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