Diners in Scotland can now see the results of inspections at their local restaurant or takeaway, following a successful Which? hygiene scores campaign.
The scheme is part of a Britain-wide pilot called Scores on the Doors. In Scotland, eateries are being encouraged to display results from local environmental health inspections showing whether the premises got a ‘Pass’ or an ‘Improvement required’ certificate.
The scheme is voluntary, so the restaurant may not display its certificate but you can still get the information through the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website or from local authority websites.
Scores on the Doors
In England and Wales, for those councils are taking part in Scores on the Doors, the ratings are being published online and the FSA website shows the areas where they’re available. The FSA’s trials will involve up to 60 local authorities. Most are due to begin by January next year and the FSA then aims to find the most effective method and roll it out nationwide.
Julia Clarke of Which? welcomed the new Scottish scheme: ‘It is important people can find out about the hygiene in local food premises and we are confident consumers will vote with their feet, driving up standards and improving food safety.’
The pilot covers five areas across Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Perth, Fife and Renfrewshire but it’s hoped that the scheme will eventually be rolled out across Scotland for all food premises.
Some local authorities in England are publishing information independently of the FSA scheme. Which? welcomes the move to make these reports available, but we’re also pushing for a consistent, nationwide scheme.
Which? thinks the publication of hygiene inspections will give the public more confidence in food safety when they eat out. Research Which? carried out earlier in the year found that 99 per cent of people wanted these hygiene results published and 82 per cent wanted the information displayed before they enter a restaurant. And 94 per cent wanted to be able to see the results online.