Planning the perfect date can be stressful as there’s a lot to think about, including of course whether you will get on and if you will make a good impression.
So the last thing you want to think about before an important dinner is whether or not the place you choose takes food hygiene seriously.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme means you don’t have to.
The Food Standards Agency, supported by Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils, is urging you to ‘look before you book’ and check the food hygiene rating before deciding where to go on your special date.
The truth is, you can’t tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy the staff appear or by how romantic the décor and ambience is. It’s the things you can’t see – like germs spread by bad hygiene practices – that you need to consider. There’s one easy way to set your mind at rest – check the food hygiene rating. This tells you about hygiene standards in restaurants and other food businesses.
Catriona Stewart, head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the Food Standards Agency, said:
“On Valentine’s Day people are focused on making sure that special lunch or dinner goes well and that they make a good impression with their date. We want them to factor in the food hygiene rating when deciding where to go and then enjoy their romantic meal out.”
Cllr Steve Gallant, cabinet member for Community Health at Suffolk Coastal District Council, said:
“When planning your special meal out, make sure you check the hygiene ratings online and choose a restaurant that takes food hygiene seriously. It’s quick and easy to check, and can make the difference between an enjoyable meal out and one that you would quickly want to forget!”
It’s really simple to check online. Or if you’re out and about look for the green and black sticker; if you can’t see one, just ask the staff.
The ratings are determined by local authority food safety officers and range from 0 to 5, with a 5 rating meaning very good food hygiene standards.
Over 90% of food businesses are rated as 3 or above so there are plenty of places with good food hygiene standards for you to choose from. This means you can easily avoid taking your special date to those places not meeting the grade.
It’s good for business too
Valentine’s is a busy time for food businesses and a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of. So make sure you reassure your customers by putting your sticker up in the window. Businesses with higher food hygiene ratings agree that this can help bring hungry customers through the door.
Cllr Mary Rudd, Cabinet Member for Community Health & Safety at Waveney District Council, said:
“This is an important time for local businesses so we’re encouraging food businesses across both districts to display their rating. We’re proud that the majority of our food businesses have achieved the top level for food hygiene and I hope this continues to benefit both them and the public.”
See the latest Suffolk Coastal and Waveney businesses to achieve top food hygiene ratings.