One of the stories that caught my attention in the Bolton News over the summer was the news that 19 food outlets across the borough have a zero hygiene rating.
This was met with a huge amount of surprise by local residents. We all recognise the green stickers that show the hygiene rating, so why is it down to the local newspaper to highlight businesses with a low score?
I looked into the system further and found that while all businesses are given a green sticker to display after they are rated, there is no requirement to display them. The information is published online, at scoresonthedoors.org.uk, which is useful but most people have never heard of it and few would investigate local food outlets in advance of a visit.
However, in Wales the system is different, they have made it compulsory to display the sticker in a clear place and for staff to be able to give the latest rating if asked.
I think that this is a common sense idea. Let’s not just have a website called scores on the doors, let’s actually put the score on the door. Make the information clear for the public so that they can choose where to eat.
I have tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling on the Government to follow the Welsh example. MPs can add their name in support. You can find the details of it here.