Christmas is a time to enjoy good company and good food without worrying about food poisoning, which is why Torbay Council is reminding residents to ‘look before you book’.

As well as considering the menu Torbay Council and Food Standards Agency want you to also check out the hygiene rating as you can’t always tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy the staff look or by how busy the premises are.

Food hygiene includes how hygienically the food is handled in preparation, cooking, cooling and storage. It is takes into account the condition and structure of the building including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, equipment etc. and how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.

The ratings are determined by local authority food safety officers and run from zero to five, with a rating of five meaning a very good level of food hygiene. 93% of food businesses in Torbay are rated three or better.

To help make a healthy choice on where to eat visit www.food.gov.uk/ratings to see the ratings of the premises you are going to visit or look out for the green and black sticker which should be on display.

Executive Lead for Safer Communities, Highways, Environment and Sport, Councillor Robert Excell, said: “It’s easy for people in Torbay to check hygiene ratings online and choose a restaurant for their Christmas parties that takes food hygiene seriously. A good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of, and it matters to customers, so we are encouraging all businesses in Torbay to display their rating and have a prosperous Christmas season.”

Catherine Brown, Chief Executive, Food Standards Agency, agrees:
“This Christmas, do this one little thing for peace of mind when eating out. Take a moment to check the food hygiene rating, pick the right place, and enjoy a great meal out.”

For more information, visit www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/hygieneratings


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