New battle against food bugs

CUTTING down on food poisoning and improving food hygiene standards have been identified as two of many benefits for a new idea to put “scores on the doors” of restaurants.

CUTTING down on food poisoning and improving food hygiene standards have been identified as two of many benefits for a new idea to put “scores on the doors” of restaurants.

Council officials have now carried out a full investigation into the proposal to help show customers if their chosen eating out place is up to scratch - and are recommending the go-ahead for the project.

It will mean all cafes, pubs, restaurants, hotels and takeaways serving food in Suffolk Coastal will have a star rating on their door - just like in New York, Toronto, LA, Amsterdam and Madrid.

People will also be able to view the information on the internet and even have a text message sent to them or view the ratings via WAP on their mobile phones before they leave home.


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Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Sherrie Green said the scheme would act as an incentive for owners to improve their standards and this in turn would mean premises did not need to be visited so frequently.

“This scheme will benefit good food businesses by promoting their achievement and should improve the standards of poor performing businesses. This will increase food hygiene standards and bring down the number of food poisoning cases in the district,” said Mrs Green.

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“With a large number of visitors coming from outside the area, the ability to promote compliance with food hygiene and provide the widest consumer choice is a key element to the future of tourism and should reduce the chances of a spoiled holiday.

“The scheme encourages businesses to have a self-regulatory approach to maintaining high food hygiene standards. This will achieve good publicity for businesses that manage food safety to a high standard and ultimately increase their trade, rather than waiting for a food safety officer to advise them what they need to do during their inspection visit.”

If cabinet approves the scheme on Tuesday October 2 it should come into operation next spring.

It is proposed that the food premises will be allowed to provide a comment on the website about their rating.

The scheme was drawn up after an increase in inquiries about food hygiene at businesses following the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act with the public wanting more information in order to choose where to eat.

Do you think the scores on the doors scheme is a good idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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