People looking to enjoy a romantic meal on Valentine’s Day are being urged to check the food hygiene ratings before making a booking.
“Planning the perfect Valentine’s date is stressful enough,” said Cllr Rob Hannaford, Exeter’s City Council’s Lead Councillor responsible for environmental health.
“The last thing you want on your mind before that special date is whether the place you choose is hygienic or not. After all, there’s nothing romantic about food poisoning!”
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rates food businesses on their hygiene standards, based on inspections carried out by local authority food safety officers. In Exeter’s case this is done by officers from the City Council.
Businesses are rated on a scale ranging from 0 which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’ to a top rating of 5 which is ‘very good’.
In Exeter the vast majority of restaurants, cafes and pubs conform to food hygiene standards. In fact 97% of food businesses in the rating scheme scored 3 or above.
In reality you can’t tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy their staff look or by how romantic the ambience is. However it’s easy to go online and check the Food Standard Agency’s website: www.food.gov.uk/ratings or look at the green and black sticker in the window or door of the restaurant, café or food business. If there isn’t one, then just ask the business why there isn’t a sticker and what their rating is.