With the start of Food Safety Week Crawley Borough Council is focusing on what it can do to protect your plate
The council has a team of dedicated Environmental Health Officers whose job it is to inspect local food businesses to ensure hygiene standards are up to scratch.
More than 600 businesses inspected in Crawley received a food hygiene rating of 3 (generally satisfactory) or above under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
The scheme covers businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers such as restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, food vans or stalls, canteens, hotels, supermarkets, schools, hospitals and care homes.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps people choose where to shop for food and where to eat out by giving them clear information about the businesses’ hygiene standards.
There are six hygiene ratings ranging from ‘0’ (urgent improvement required) at the bottom to ‘5’ (very good) at the top.
To make sure businesses maintain or improve upon their rating, the council’s Environmental Health Team carry out inspections ranging from every six months (high risk businesses) to three years (low risk businesses).
The inspections are designed to assess how hygienic the premise is and how effective the food safety management systems are.
The results are then used to calculate the food hygiene rating for the business.
Businesses are given green and black stickers for display at their premises and all ratings are published online, so people can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food.
Cabinet Member for Economic and Environmental Services, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said: “With a great range of eateries here in Crawley, many of our residents enjoy ditching the oven gloves for an evening and heading out for a meal and our dedicated team works hard to make sure that residents and visitors can enjoy their meal with peace of mind.“