More than 1,000 Peterborough food outlets have received the top hygiene rating.
Of the 1,406 outlets across Peterborough that are rated, 1,056 have five stars (very good), 217 have four (good), 68 have three (satisfactory), 38 have two (improvement needed), 25 have one (major improvement needed) and two have zero (urgent improvement needed).
That means 95.4 per cent of the city’s food serving outlets have a top-ranked rating.
The figures have been released by Peterborough City Council to make people aware of the ratings system, which is used to measure an outlet’s hygiene standards, as well as handling processes, structure and management.
Ratings are given for all businesses that either prepare or serve food to the public, such as restaurants, pubs and takeaways, as well as manufacturers and retailers.
Businesses are encouraged to display their rating using a green and black sticker at their premises, but members of the public can also check the rating of any business online.
Cllr Irene Walsh, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “We are pleased that ratings in the city are currently very positive, but we never get complacent. The protection of the public is our highest priority and we will continue to actively work with businesses to assist them with standards.
“For a business, having a good rating is a huge positive step as it will help to attract and retain customers. I strongly recommend that members of the public use the ratings with confidence and enjoy meals out in establishments who take food hygiene as seriously as we do.”
Peterborough City Council’s food and safety team supports businesses to help them improve their ratings, with officers giving advice and general guidance.
At a food hygiene rating inspection, the officer will check the following three elements:
. How hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
. The physical condition of the business –including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, pest control and other facilities
. How the business manages ways of keeping food safe, looking at processes, training and systems to ensure good hygiene is maintained. The officer can then assess the level of confidence in standards being maintained in the future.
Businesses that receive low ratings are advised what to do prevent any imminent risk to the public. If a business refuses to comply the council can take formal legal proceedings to stop a firm from trading until it has removed this imminent risk.
Businesses that receive these poor ratings but are not so severe that they need to close will have taken action, either at the time of the inspection or before a follow up revisit.
For more information about Food Hygiene Ratings or to check the rating of a local business visit www.food.gov.uk.
Peterborough City Council also offers training to help businesses improve standards which in turn will improve their rating. For more information about the training available email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01733 207184.