FSA boss gets tough on display of ‘Scores on the Doors' hygiene ratings

19 March 2010 by
FSA boss gets tough on display of ‘Scores on the Doors' hygiene ratings

The new head of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has warned that hospitality operators refusing to conform with its voluntary Scores on the Doors scheme would "go out of business pretty damn quick".

Lord Rooker, chairman of the FSA, said that once a national standard had been reached any food business not openly displaying its hygiene rating would face repeated visits from health and safety inspectors which they would have to pay for.

"When we get to that point, they will get inspected every week and charged for it. They will be out of business pretty damn quick, because the regulations will put them out of business]," he told the Independent.

"In other words, they will be very high risk in the scale and they will be inspected to the extent that they might decide it's not worth the candle."

Lord Rooker's comments come just a week after the British Hospitality Association (BHA) blasted the proposed national system, which was introduced despite protest from the industry in December 2008.

Instead of displaying a simple "pass" or "fail", food establishments are given a score ranging from zero, which is a "fail" rating, to five stars.

"Under this star rating scheme you can get one or two stars and still fail to meet the legal requirements. To me that seems crazy," BHA chief executive Bob Cotton said.

A recent FSA report showed that between April 2008 and April 2009, 86% of UK establishments inspected for food hygiene were at a level equivalent to the top three tiers, with 40% in the top tier.

FSA hygiene figures spark new attack on Scores on the Doors >>

Six-tier ‘scores on the doors' a burden >>

Six-tier hygiene ratings ‘ridiculous' >>

By Kerstin Kühn

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