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National Food Safety Week - the people who protect your plate

Published 7th June 2018

We love our food, there’s simply no denying it. In fact, as a nation, we spent over £203 billion on food and drink last year alone. But the safety of our food is often something we take for granted.

So this week, as part of National Food Safety Week (4-10 June 2018), Sandwell is joining forces with the Food Standards Agency to shine a light on food safety and the team working behind the scenes in Sandwell to help ensure that the food we buy and eat is safe and honest.

There are a whole host of people that work to keep food safe. Sandwell has a team of dedicated environmental health officers whose job it is to inspect local food businesses making sure hygiene standards are up to scratch.

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 categories under the food hygiene rating scheme,  ranging from ‘0’ (urgent improvement required) at the bottom to ‘5’ (very good) at the top.

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

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 Sandwell are ranked generally satisfactory, good or very good with ninety-three per cent of businesses inspected in Sandwell receiving a food hygiene rating of 3 (generally satisfactory) or above, under the food hygiene rating scheme.
 
Councillor Elaine Costigan, Sandwell’s cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “We have a dedicated team that work hard to ensure that food is safe in Sandwell so that residents and visitors can dine out with peace of mind.

"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, head of the food hygiene rating team at the Food Standards Agency, added: “Working in partnership with Sandwell Council and their expert environmental health 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.”

For more information about food safety.