Food Standards Agency urges you to ‘look before you book’ this Christmas

Health / Fri 5th Dec 2014 at 04:36pm

AVOID food poisoning this festive season by following the advice of Harlow Council and the Food Standards Agency to ‘look before you book’ when eating out and check the restaurants’ food hygiene ratings.

The food hygiene ratings in Harlow are determined by Harlow Council’s Environmental Health Officers and run from 0-5, with a 5 rating meaning a very good level of food hygiene.

With 93% of restaurants nationwide rated 3 or above, there is no need to eat anywhere that doesn’t meet the required standards.

It is impossible to tell how hygienic a restaurant is by how clean and tidy the staff look or by how busy it is.

It is the things you can’t see that determine whether you should eat at a restaurant, such as if germs are spread by poor hygiene practices.

If the restaurant you are considering doesn’t have the green and black ratings sticker in the window or you read a bad online review, it is best to spend your money elsewhere.

Catherine Brown, Chief Executive of the FSA, said:

“This Christmas, do this one little thing for peace of mind when eating out. Take a moment to check the food hygiene rating, pick the right place, and enjoy a great meal out.”

Councillor Mark Wilkinson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said:

“It’s easy for people in Harlow to check hygiene ratings online and choose a restaurant for their Christmas parties that takes food hygiene seriously. This is an important time for local businesses and a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of.

“It matters to customers so we are encouraging all businesses in Harlow to display their rating and have a prosperous Christmas season.”

You can check the rating of restaurants online on the FSA website: www.food.gov.uk/ratings or if you are out look for the green and black sticker; if one is not displayed you are within your rights to ask.

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