A council is reminding people to check food hygiene ratings for hospitality venues this Christmas to avoid disappointment and getting food poisoning.

East Suffolk Council is launching the new campaign across its social media channels.

The food hygiene rating scheme gives information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels and other food businesses, making it easier for people to choose where to eat or buy their food.

Businesses are given a hygiene rating when it is inspected by an environmental health officer from the council, to show how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.

Eastern Daily Press: Councillor Mary Rudd, East Suffolk Council cabinet member for community health.Councillor Mary Rudd, East Suffolk Council cabinet member for community health. (Image: Archant)

Councillor Mary Rudd, cabinet member for Community Health, said: “With the festive season coming up, many people are planning gatherings with family, friends or work colleagues at local restaurants, pubs and hotels, and we would encourage them to not only check the menu before booking, but also the food hygiene rating.

“The food hygiene rating scheme has been designed to help residents and visitors in East Suffolk decide where to eat and buy food by providing information on the hygiene standards of a food business.

"It also recognises those businesses with the highest standards and encourages others to improve.

“The rating can easily be checked online in advance or look out for the distinctive green and black sticker that food businesses are encouraged to display on their premises.

"This is an important time for businesses and a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of.

"If this isn’t on display, we would urge people to ask a business if they have been rated and what scored they’ve received.

“So, no matter where you eat, you can make sure it has been prepared to good hygienic standards and isn’t likely to give you an upset stomach or much worse.

"It is really quick and easy to check, and it could save you from having a miserable Christmas.”

Over 98pc of food businesses rated in East Suffolk have a food safety rating of three or better.

To check a food rating online, simply go to https://ratings.food.gov.uk/

For more information, please visit www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/food-safety/food-hygiene-rating-scheme/