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Welsh food businesses say hygiene ratings 'will affect trade'

Category : Market Place News

04 February 2013

Welsh businesses are concerned the need to display their food hygiene ratings will damage trade.

Following a consultation by the Welsh Assembly Government last month, all food companies across the nation will soon be required to show how clean their establishment has been deemed, Wales Online reports.

This is because MPs decided the system - which gives firms a rating of between zero and five - is essential to protecting public health and will improve overall food industry standards.

However, some shops are worried the move could have a negative impact on the success of their business, due to the fact customers do not understand the assessment process and how it is carried out.

Sheron Jones of Bridgend, who runs a sandwich bar and a carvery, said despite the fact the operated both her investments in the same way, one received a hygiene rating of three, while the other one was granted a five.

The 59-year-old told the news provider: "People looking at my three-star will think we're not keeping it as clean. I think it’s very unfair. They could make the paperwork easier for businesses."

Many firms have claimed the system is misleading, as a score of zero still allows cafes and restaurants to operate and ratings can change depending on minor factors such as completed paperwork. Some businesses have also called for a pass-fail system to be set up to ensure greater clarity.

According to a spokeswoman from the Welsh government, food hygiene is essential for ensuring the public stays healthy and safe and the ratings scheme will help to drive up standards in many establishments.

She added: "The scheme will enable consumers to make more informed choices about where they choose to eat or shop for food, while good food hygiene means a higher rating which is good for business."

This comes after it was revealed by the Sun that some of the UK's most popular restaurant chains have at least one outlet in the country that has been given a zero by a food hygiene inspector.

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