“Protecting your business?” £5,000 fine for failing to display Food Hygiene Ratings
A recent case at Cardiff Magistrates Court, in which a business owner was fined £5,000, highlights the obligations businesses have to display their food hygiene ratings, in Wales and Northern Ireland.
The case surrounded a restaurant which had been given a Two-star rating, following a visit by environmental health officers in 2017.
By Law the rating must be displayed “close to the premises where it is capable of being easily read by the customer before they enter”.
On a number of occasions the authorities attended and found they were not satisfied the sticker was being displayed correctly, they were told by the restaurant owner “he was protecting his business by not displaying the food hygiene rating”.
As a result of not displaying it correctly the owners application for regrading was refused by the Council. The authorities then proceeded to prosecute the owner for six offences to which he pleaded Guilty at court.
Councillor Michael Michael, cabinet member for shared regulatory services, said of the case:
“This case shows a blatant disregard for the legislation that is in place….” and “the purpose of the legislation is to give the customer the choice whether they want to eat in the restaurant or not. If [the owner] wants to protect his business, I would suggest that he gets his business in order and operates in line with the law.
In England, the displaying of the Food Standards Rating is voluntary.
The FSA (Food Standards Agency) are calling for this to be changed;
"Mandatory display is part of the FSA's plans for a new model of regulation but implementation will require legislation," a spokesman said.
"We want to bring the food hygiene rating scheme in England in line with Wales and Northern Ireland, where the benefits of more visible ratings have already been felt."
We will monitor the position.
Should you face any regulatory issues regarding your business, make sure you obtain Legal Advice, our teams are available and able to respond on 0114 266 8664.