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.