Dozens of Norfolk food businesses do not display hygiene ratings
- Credit: Archant
An industry report has revealed half of food businesses in England do not display a hygiene rating.
The rating system, which in Norfolk sees businesses graded from one to five based on factors such as kitchen cleanliness, cooking methods and food safety management, is popular with diners and for some just as important as the menu.
Businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland are legally required to display their rating, but in England, this is not the case.
MORE: One in three restaurants in Norfolk have been warned over poor food hygieneNow, The Local Government Association (LGA) wants ministers to empower councils by legally extending the mandatory display of food hygiene ratings to England, including to online businesses.
The LGA says that businesses - including restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, sandwich shops, supermarkets, delicatessens and web platforms offering food - that fail to comply should be fined or prosecuted.
Almost half of restaurants in Norwich, and one in three eateries around the county as a whole have been warned over unacceptable food hygiene.
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A snap survey carried out by this newspaper found that of 100 food businesses in Norwich, 56 displayed hygiene ratings, while 44 did not.
In North Norfolk, a survey in Cromer found 13 businesses displayed ratings while 12 did not and in North Walsham nine did and 16 did not display ratings.
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In King's Lynn, 31 did and 19 did not display hygiene ratings with the majority of businesses in the town centre doing so. In Great Yarmouth, 34 out of 50 businesses had hygiene ratings on display.
Norfolk launched the first rating scheme of its kind in 2005, which was later adopted by other local authorities and endorsed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2010.
Heather Hancock, who chairs the Food Standards Agency, said: 'Mandatory display has already made a big difference in Wales and Northern Ireland, pushing up business hygiene standards and giving consumers greater confidence that their food is safe. We're preparing the case for mandatory display in England and hope to see progress soon.'
A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: 'As a council we follow the national standard and although it is not currently a legal requirement for food businesses in England to display their rating we do encourage it.'
Great Yarmouth Borough council was approached for comment but declined.
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