Food businesses in Wales will have to start displaying their food hygiene rating as a new law introduced by the Welsh Government comes into effect at the end of this month.
The new regulations come into force on 28 November.
The scheme will cover places where people eat out of home, including restaurants, takeaways, mobile caterers, cafés, hotels and pubs, as well as establishments such as schools, hospitals, children's nurseries and residential care homes.
The new statutory legislation is based on the current voluntary Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, operated by local authorities in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Food outlets will be rated from 0-5 on criteria such as how the food is prepared, cooked and stored, the condition of the premises and how food safety within the business is managed.
Consumers will now be able to make informed decisions about where they choose to eat, with a score of 5 meaning that hygiene standards are very good and 0 meaning that urgent improvement is necessary.
More than 23,000 food businesses in Wales have already received a rating under the voluntary scheme, and many have improved their rating following advice from their local authority food safety officer.
Local authority officers will enforce the statutory scheme in their area and ensure ratings are correctly displayed.
From November 2014, the scheme will be extended to include food manufacturers, wholesalers and transporters that supply to places where people eat and buy food.