Thursday, 13 December 2012

Eat out with confidence this Christmas

Residents in the Lancaster district who are planning to go out for a meal this Christmas are being encouraged to download a new smartphone application.

With Christmas fast approaching, Lancaster City Council advises that when checking out the menu it’s wise to check out the food hygiene rating of restaurants before you eat.

This can now be done by downloading the new Food Hygiene Rating Scheme smartphone app.

Restaurants, pubs, hotels, (as well as cafes, takeaways and other places that sell or serve food) are rated from 0 - 5 on their hygiene standards when a food hygiene inspection is carried out by Lancaster City Council.

The business's score is based on observations on hygienic practises and food safety management demonstrated during the visit.

Lancaster City Council has been running the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme since November 2010 and in that time the number of food businesses classed as broadly compliant and score a  '3 - generally satisfactory' has increased to more that 95%. The district currently has  878  five star food outlets.

Councillor Karen Leytham, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health, said: “Nobody wants to have their Christmas festivities ruined by illness and as far as food hygiene ratings go there’s certainly safety in numbers. 

"Food businesses display their food hygiene rating voluntarily so with the launch of the new app, it’s now easy to check the hygiene and food safety management standards in a restaurant, shop or takeaway if they are not displaying their rating before enjoying food there.”

• The food hygiene rating app is available to download via Google Play for Android phones or iTunes for iPhones.  Alternatively you can visit www.food.gov.uk/ratings

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