A NEWSLETTER delivered to every home in North Kesteven this month will show the food hygiene ratings of eateries and places that sell food in the area.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rates eateries on their hygiene standards based on inspections carried out by the council.
The ratings cover every restaurant, hotel, pub, takeaway, cafe, supermarket and shop selling food and they are also available to see online at www.food.gov.uk/ratings and on distinctive green and black window stickers in each business premises.
The ratings go from five showing that the business meets all legal requirements for food hygiene, to zero at the very bottom of the range showing that urgent improvement is necessary.
They assess standards in cleanliness, avoidance of cross-contamination, temperature management, documentation, structural repair and stock control to give guidance on practices and procedures behind the scenes at the time of the inspection – but are not a guide to actual food quality.
As a national scheme the ratings give a clear and consistent value against which you can make an informed choice on where to eat and buy food.
Cllr Richard Wright, executive board member with responsibility for public protection, said that with the schemes main aim being to reduce the incidence of food-borne illness, it was important that people didn't just check out a menu but what their hygiene rating is too – especially when organising a Christmas gathering with family, friends or work colleagues at a local restaurant, pub or hotel.
Mr Wright said: "When dining out, you'll choose to go to a place where you like the food and you know you'll have a good time.
"It makes sense to look before you book and check out the food hygiene rating as well.
"No-one wants to gamble with their health when eating out, particularly when celebrating a special festive meal and this scheme offers you confidence in your choices.
"Here in North Kesteven, we are very proud that almost 400 of the 778 premises we assess have a top score of five and a further 194 have a rating of four."