Look before you book your Christmas party meal, warns North Kesteven environmental health team

Check food hygiene ratings when booking your Christmas meal venue. EMN-171128-172827001
Check food hygiene ratings when booking your Christmas meal venue. EMN-171128-172827001

If you are planning your work’s Christmas party, a family get together or a romantic meal out over the festive season – look before you book!

North Kesteven District Council are once again supporting the Food Standard Agencies campaign ‘Look before you book’ in the hope that its residents take note of the hygiene rating ‘scores on the doors’ because you want to be sure whether or not the place you choose takes food hygiene seriously.

You cannot tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy the staff look or by how festive the décor is, explains the authority.

It is the things you can’t see – like germs spread by bad hygiene practices – that you need to consider.

The Food Hygiene Rating tells you about hygiene standards in restaurants and other food businesses.

It is simple to check. Just go online to the Food Standard Agency’s website: http://ratings.food.gov.uk/ or if you’re out and about look for the green and black sticker; if you can’t see one just ask the staff.

The ratings are determined by local authority food safety officers and range from 0 to 5, with a 5 rating meaning very good food hygiene standards.

Over 98 per cent of North Kesteven’s food businesses are rated a 3 or higher so there are plenty of places with good food hygiene standards, you can choose from. This means you can easily avoid taking your special date to those places not meeting the grade.

Coun Peter Burley, Executive Member for Environmental Health said: “Food hygiene ratings exist for a reason - it is easy to check, so make sure you choose a restaurant that takes food hygiene seriously.

“It’s also an important time for local food businesses as a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of. It matters to customers so we encourage all businesses in North Kesteven to display their rating.”

It is good for business too - Christmas and the New Year can be extremely busy periods for food businesses, and a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of, says NKDC. So make sure you reassure your customers by putting your sticker up in the window.

Thousands of food businesses displaying a 3 to 5 rating say it made a positive difference to their business, acording to the council.