Mandatory food hygiene rating displays to be introduced in Wales in November 2013

15 Aug 2013 | Comment

The Food Hygiene Ratings (Wales) Act 2013 is due to come into force from November this year. It stipulates that if you operate a food business in Wales then you will be required by law to display your food hygiene rating and failure to comply will be a criminal offence.

The Act will establish a new food hygiene rating system in Wales, and food authorities will be required to inspect food businesses and produce food hygiene ratings in accordance with the criteria already in use by the Food Standards Agency.

Under the scheme, businesses will be rated with a score between 0 and 5 – with 0 meaning urgent improvement is necessary and a 5 rating meaning hygiene standards are very good. The rating will be based on criteria which will include food handling standards – such as how the food is prepared, cooked, cooled and stored, the condition of the premises and the procedures in place to ensure the production of safe food.

Businesses will be required to display their rating in a prominent position, such as at the entrance to their premises. Establishments must also provide verbal confirmation of their rating if asked, and include it on any websites or publicity materials promoting their business.

Penalties under the Act include a fine of up to £1,000, or a fixed penalty notice of £200 (£150 if paid within 14 days).

Introduction of a mandatory food hygiene rating scheme is a commitment in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government and would be the UK’s first compulsory scheme. These measures will result in consumers having access to more information about where they eat or buy food and should help to drive up businesses’ food hygiene standards.

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