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‘The people who protect your plate’

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This week Cheshire West and Chester Council is supporting National Food Safety Week (4th – 10th June 2018).

The council is partnering with the Food Standards Agency to shine a light on food safety and the team working behind the scenes in the borough to help ensure that the food we buy and eat is safe.

The council has a team of eight dedicated environmental health and food safety officers whose job it is to inspect local food businesses to ensure hygiene standards are up to scratch.

The council revealed that 72% of businesses inspected in Cheshire West and Chester received a food hygiene rating of ‘3’ (generally satisfactory) or above under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

The scheme covers all businesses supplying or serving food directly to consumers – such as restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, food vans and stalls, canteens, hotels, supermarkets, schools, hospitals and care homes.

In Cheshire West and Chester the team covers a total of 3,305 organisations that supply food.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps people choose where to shop for food and where to eat out by giving them clear information about the businesses’ hygiene standards.

There are six hygiene ratings ranging from ‘0’ (urgent improvement required) at the bottom to ‘5’ (very good) at the top.

Businesses are given green and black stickers for display at their premises and all ratings are published online, so people can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food.

The vast majority of food businesses in and around West Cheshire are ranked generally satisfactory, good or very good.

The council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Karen Shore said: “Research shows that food hygiene when eating out is the UK’s number one food safety concern so we are really pleased that the majority of our local food businesses hold a rating of 3 or above.”

Angela Towers, of the Food Standards Agency, said: “Working in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester and their expert food safety officers we are dedicated to ensuring that people can trust that the food they buy and eat is safe and honest.

“Our Food Hygiene Rating Scheme empowers the public to make informed decisions about where to buy and eat food, it’s also proved hugely effective in driving up standards in food businesses across the country.”

The Food Safety team’s ‘GET5’ scheme is available for any business that would like to obtain or maintain a level ‘5’ food hygiene rating.

It includes a site visit and tailored advice for a minimal fee. For more details please see the council’s website.

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