Friday, 2 August 2013

Advice on Food Standards Agency Hygiene Ratings

Food Standards Agency Hygiene Ratings – Duct Work Cleaning Company Ingot Services Explains What They Mean For Your Business

Duct work cleaning specialists Ingot are keen to advise and support customers in all aspects of their business. We know that Food Standards Agency hygiene ratings are a particular concern for catering businesses and food retailers, especially as the ratings are now shown on the door. This means customers may decide whether or not to eat at a restaurant or buy takeaway food on the basis of the rating shown.

The Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme (FRHS) scores are decided by food safety officers visiting your premises, who carry out a series of checks including looking at how hygienically food is handled at all stages, from preparation through to serving and storage. They also assess the building's structure and condition, including everything from its layout to your regular cleaning regime, and how well your business keeps records on its actions to ensure food safety.

Checks on the building's condition include an examination of the ventilation system and its cleanliness. It is therefore vital to carry out regular duct work cleaning and to employ a specialist contractor such as Ingot, who will ensure the ventilation system meets top standards and keep proper records to satisfy the official requirements.

Once your business has been assessed, it will be given a food hygiene rating. The top rating available is 5, or “very good”, meaning that you have achieved high standards across the board, and this is the rating all catering businesses should be determined to gain and maintain. The lower ratings range from 4, or “good”, meaning you are working on the right lines but need to take action in some areas, right down to 0, or “urgent improvement necessary”. 

If you do not receive the top rating of 5, the food safety officer who has carried out the inspection should explain why, pinpointing any problems which have been noticed and suggesting what you can do to improve. This could include making repairs to your building, improving your kitchen extract cleaning arrangements or ensuring that staff follow more stringent hygiene procedures when working with food. 

The local authority will then carry out further checks to ensure that the improvements are carried out. Normally inspections are carried out at intervals ranging between six months to two years, depending on the type of business, but if you have been given a low rating and then make immediate improvements you can ask for a repeat inspection to be carried out more quickly, so that your rating can be raised as soon as possible.

Businesses are encouraged to display their hygiene ratings on the doors of the premises and this will attract customers if the sticker shows a top rating of 5, but may put them off if a lower rating is shown. They could also be put off if they don't see any rating displayed, wondering why this is and perhaps assuming you have a low score that you don't want known. Bear in mind that it is also possible for prospective customers to check out your rating online, via the Scores on the Doors website, before deciding to pay a visit. 

Businesses need to keep up to date with the latest rules on food standards and you can do this by regularly visiting the official Government website to check if any regulations have been updated.

About Ingot Services

When you are seeking professional duct work cleaning specialists to ensure the highest standards, Ingot Services are the people to call. We have over 25 years experience and keep full records as well as issuing you with certificates and advising you on the best cleaning schedule for your ventilation system.

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