How Safe Is Your Meal?

Merton joins new food hygiene scheme

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Merton is becoming the fifth London borough to join a new national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).

Residents eating out or ordering a takeaway can take advantage of the new national method of displaying the hygiene standards of food businesses to consumers, both online and on the premises.

The FHRS scheme, developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), in partnership with local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, provides information on food hygiene standards to help people choose where to eat out or buy food.

Restaurants, takeaways and pubs are inspected by Merton Council's Environmental Health Officers, to check that their hygiene standards meet legal requirements.

The hygiene standards are rated on a scale ranging from zero ('urgent improvement necessary') to a top rating of five ('very good'). These ratings are available for anyone to view on the FSA website at ratings.food.gov. The food outlet will also be given a sticker and certificate so customers can view them on the premises as well.

Merton cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge, said: "We want people to be able to enjoy our local cuisine safely and healthily – one million people suffer from food poisoning every year in the UK, and we want to bring this number down. We are only the fifth London borough to adopt the scheme, which shows our enthusiasm for a consistent, safe and national method of keeping food safe.

"As we look forward to the upcoming Wimbledon Tennis fortnight and the Olympic tennis events, we want to make sure our all our guests can eat out in our borough with complete confidence."

March 9, 2012