The Food Standards Agency](http://www.food.gov.uk/) (FSA) has written to all local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to tell them about local launches of the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS), the follow-on from the controversial [Scores on the Doors ](http://www.caterersearch.com/Topics/3402/scores-on-the-doors.html)scheme.
FHRS will also score restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels and supermarkets on hygiene, but the stars dispayed in Scores on the Doors have been transformed into simple numbers following independent research with consumers who found them easier to understand.
Local launches of the FHRS are due to begin in the autumn. All 22 local authorities in Wales are planning to roll-out the scheme from 1 October. In England, ‘early adopter' local authorities are planning to launch the scheme in the South West, and East and South East regions, the FSA said.
Catriona Stewart, head of the Food Hygiene Ratings team, said: "It's a really exciting time for the scheme as things are moving on apace. We are really impressed with the enthusiasm of the "early adopters" for getting the scheme up and running and we share their commitment to making it a success. We are very pleased with the look and feel that the new branding gives to the scheme as it makes it easy for consumers to see at a glance what the hygiene rating is."
The FSA also announced that the IT system - including the online consumer search facility and the local authority data upload system - is now in the testing phase. The search facility will allow consumers to search for hygiene ratings of businesses in areas where the scheme is run.
The systems are expected to go live in mid-September.
By Neil Gerrard
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