Most of Aberystwyth’s restaurants and cafes don’t display hygiene ratings

A SURVEY undertaken on behalf of Elin Jones, Assembly Member for Ceredigion, suggests that over half the food preparation businesses in Aberystwyth don’t currently display their Food Hygiene Ratings.

A total of 80 food outlets were surveyed in Aberystwyth town centre to see whether they display their Food Hygiene Ratings in a prominent location on the premises. Not all food businesses have been assessed for their ratings yet.

Of those premises surveyed, only 42.5% displayed their ratings (of which there were no premises displaying a score lower than 3). 19 premises, representing 23.8 per cent of the total, received scores of 1 or 2 and didn’t display their ratings. These latter premises require improvement.

Since October 2010, local food businesses throughout the UK have been awarded hygiene score between 0 and 5 while being assessed by the local authority. These scores are published on a national website, and a window sticker and certificate are provided to be displayed on the business premises.

Although the scores are currently displayed on a voluntary basis, the Welsh Government wants to make it a legal requirement for food businesses to display their Food Hygiene Ratings from November 2013, and is currently progressing the necessary legislation through the Senedd.

Elin Jones AM said:

“I was surprised to see that over half of the food businesses surveyed in Aberystwyth don’t display their food hygiene rating in a prominent position on their premises. It’s particularly worrying that 44 per cent of those premises who scored 3 and over chose not to display their scores, even though their results are satisfactory and not a cause for concern.

“From the survey, it’s clear that it’s mainly those premises with the highest score of 5 which display the sticker in their windows, while there weren’t any 1 or 2 scores displayed. This is clearly very worrying, and means that people can’t make a better and more informed choice when deciding where to eat.

“Introducing a level playing field and requiring all food outlets to display their scores would be a significant step forward, and there is every expectation that those businesses with the lower scores would make a greater effort to improve their hygiene standards to retain trade.

“I therefore support the Welsh Government’s proposals to improve food hygiene standards in this manner, and look forward to seeing the legislation progress further over the coming months”.