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Rochford District Council
      
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Rochford District Council,  South Street,  Rochford.
01702  546366       
8 November 2012

Look before you book your festive celebrations!

If there’s one thing guaranteed to ruin your Christmas meal out with friends, family or colleagues, it’s a nasty bout of food poisoning.
But if you’re eating out, how do you know if the restaurant owner takes food hygiene seriously?

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rates eateries and other places that sell food on their hygiene standards, based on inspections carried out by Rochford District Council. What’s more, these ratings are available for everyone to see.

This national scheme, developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities, rates food outlets on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom (which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’ to a top rating of five (‘very good’).

You can check the rating online at www.food.gov.uk  via a free phone app, or look for the distinctive green and black rating sticker that businesses are encouraged to display.

If you’re organising a Christmas gathering with family, friends or work colleagues at a local restaurant, pub or hotel don’t just examine the menu, also check what their hygiene rating is too.

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Councillor Mike Steptoe, said: “When dining out, it makes sense to look at the food hygiene rating before you book so you know you’ll have a good time.”

Catriona Stewart, Head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the FSA, added: “No-one wants to gamble with their health when eating out, particularly when celebrating a special festive meal. Local authorities, including Rochford, have worked with the FSA to successfully roll-out the scheme which helps people choose where to eat. Our app makes it even easier for people to check hygiene ratings before deciding which place to visit.”