Mandatory Scores on the Doors will affect 43,000 businesses

Mandatory Scores on the Doors will affect thousands of businesses

More than 43,000 restaurants and catering businesses across England could be affected when a law to make it compulsory for places that serve or sell food to display their food hygiene rating comes into force in 2019.

Some 44% of customers wouldn’t enter a restaurant if it displayed a hygiene rating  - dubbed Scores on the Doors - of three or less out of the maximum five, according to a new report. There are currently 65,000 catering and hospitality businesses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland - 43,000 (18%) of which are based in England - that have a food hygiene score of three or below.

While the majority (82%) of English catering and hospitality businesses already have a rating of 4 or 5, according to the Food Hygiene Ratings Report from NFU Mutual, the findings highlight the potential negative impact for restaurants that only have a ‘fair’ (3) hygiene rating.

“A ‘good’ score can no longer be seen as an aspiration but a minimum benchmark,” says Darren Seward, hospitality sector specialist at NFU Mutual. “Imminent compulsory displays are destined to be a game changer for those businesses struggling to reach the top grades.”

It is already mandatory for food businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland to display their hygiene score in a prominent place such as the front door or window. The legislation is set to come into force in England by 2019, and a comparable Scottish scheme likely to follow.

Consumers were overall in favour of the compulsory displays, with 88% across England and Scotland agreeing with the rule, and 66% strongly so.

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