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Apr 03 2012

Harrow Council to Ensure Safer Food for the Borough in Time for Olympics

Harrow’s restaurants, cafés, takeaways and other retail food outlets will be given new ratings in a bid to improve food hygiene in time for the Olympics.

The introduction of a new national rating system called the “Food Hygiene Rating Scheme” (FHRS) will be rolled out across London in collaboration with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) from 1st April 2012.

The aim is to reduce food poisoning and its costs to the economy. It is estimated that around one million people suffer from food-related illnesses every year at an estimated cost to the economy of £1.5 billion.

Businesses where consumers can eat or buy food, will be given one of six hygiene ratings, ranging from ‘0’ (urgent improvement necessary) at the bottom to ‘5’ (very good) at the top.

Although the current rating scheme, called “Scores on the Doors”, has been successful, the new scheme will also help to ensure consistency for businesses and clarity for consumers. It will help consumers to choose where to eat out or shop for food, and therefore encourage businesses to improve standards. Businesses will have the reassurance that they are being treated fairly and consistently with their local competitors, and they will not need to worry about the cost of stickers and certificates, which will be covered by the FSA.

Cllr Phillip O’Dell, portfolio holder for environment and community safety said:

“Keeping our communities safe is a top priority for the council and we want our residents to have confidence in local food shops and eating places. The new rating scheme will do just that and show how local businesses are committed to good food hygiene. They will help ensure that the food on offer in the borough is safe to eat, and in joining the other London boroughs who already use the scheme, we can help present a unified London when the eyes of the world will be on us during the Olympics.”

Source: Harrow Council

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