Column: Five-star hygiene rating as important as the menu for food outlets

Coun Simon Greaves
Coun Simon Greaves

What do you look for when you go out to a restaurant, get a takeaway, or grab a spot of lunch?

Is it a varied menu, some healthy options or somewhere that has a great atmosphere?

It might be all of these things, but you should also be looking out for a food hygiene rating that tells you how hygienic the food business is.

In brief, this rating takes into account things like how your food is handled and prepared, how it is stored, the cleanliness of the food business and how it manages food safety.

This week has been ‘National Food Safety Week’ and as part of the Food Standards Agency’s awareness campaign, it has been shining a light on ‘the people who protect your plate’.

Some of these people include environmental health officers from Bassetlaw Council, who are responsible for checking food safety and hygiene, as well as providing invaluable advice on food allergies and intolerances to more than 1,150 food businesses across Bassetlaw.

In doing this, the officers issue the hygiene ratings, which give you more information on where to enjoy a meal.

To celebrate this, the council has created a ‘Five-Star Friday’ post on its Facebook and Twitter pages where you can see all of the food businesses in Bassetlaw that have achieved a five-star rating that week.

In addition to this, the council is part of Nottinghamshire’s Healthier Options Take-Away (HOT) scheme and this week saw JM’s Fish Diner in Retford become the 150th business in the county to sign up to the scheme.

Businesses that sign up to HOT are committed to offering healthier ways of preparing, cooking and serving food and drink to give customers more nutritious choices.

Congratulations to JM’s Fish Diner, as well as all the other restaurants supporting local communities to lead healthier lives.