The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has developed the food hygiene rating scheme (FHRS) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland to address the inconsistency resulting from local initiatives. As local authorities roll out the scheme over the coming months, ratings will be published online at food.gov.uk/ratings.
The scheme replaces the local authority-run Scores On the Doors initiative and aims to reduce the one million cases of food poisoning each year.
The food hygiene stickers - which show a rating from zero to five – will become a feature of high streets following inspections from local council food safety officers.
Jeff Rooker, chair of the FSA, said: “In developing this scheme, we wanted to give people the ability to judge for themselves whether they considered the hygiene standards of a food outlet to be good enough. If customers are looking for a hygiene rating, this will drive businesses to improve their standards.”
Local authorities will notify businesses of their ratings within 14 days of inspection. Businesses can appeal if they do not agree with the result.
The scheme has already been adopted across Wales and by several councils in England, including Shropshire and Norwich.