Check Food Stars Before Eating OutPublished Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Check before you choose is the message to Ribble Valley residents planning a bank holiday meal out.
All food premises in Ribble Valley, including restaurants, cafes, takeaways, sandwich shops, food retailers and supermarkets, have star ratings from five to zero for food hygiene, which are displayed prominently in their premises.
The outlets are assessed on a wide range of criteria, such as the preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage of food, as well as effective pest control and waste disposal; whether employees are suitably supervised, instructed or trained in food hygiene; and the premises in a good state of repair.
The scheme, called the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, enables consumers to make informed choices about where they buy or consume food.
Ribble Valley Borough Council's senior environmental health officer, Eamonn Roberts, said: "Lots of people plan a family meal out at bank holidays and over the summer months, so we are advising residents to check before they choose.
"Consumers spend a significant amount of money on food and this scheme enables them to know how a food outlet is performing against required standards of hygiene, and therefore make informed choices about where they buy or consume food."
Catriona Stewart, head of the food hygiene ratings team at the Food Standards Agency, added: "The aim of the scheme is to reduce the one million cases of food poisoning suffered by people in the UK each year.
"Ribble Valley Borough Council has worked closely with us to successfully roll out the scheme and help local residents make an informed choice about where to eat."
Picture: Eamonn Roberts is pictured with Christine Nelson, manager of Whalley Abbey, which has a top food hygiene rating.