New food hygiene scheme to be rolled out in Uttlesford

A NEW scheme to highlight hygiene standards at food outlets is being introduced in Uttlesford.

Customers will soon be able to source better information before dining out when Uttlesford District Council roles out the Food Hygiene Rating System (FHRS) from Monday.

The national scheme, developed by the Food Standards Agency, provides information on food hygiene standards to help people to choose where to eat out or shop for food.

Food outlets are inspected by food safety officers from the council to check that their standards – which are rated from zero - meet legal requirements. Standards are rated from zero (‘urgent improvement needed’) to five (‘very good’).

And it is not just restaurants that are inspected - retailers such as supermarkets, bakers, butchers, delis and takeaways are also included.

Head of environmental health at the council Geoff Smith said: “We have joined the scheme as we can see the benefits for local food businesses and the people that eat and shop in them.

“The public will be able to use the ratings when deciding which outlets to visit and we hope that food companies will recognise that displaying a good hygiene rating is good for business.

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“When customers expect to see a rating, there is a real incentive for food businesses to seek to make improvements to their hygiene standards.”

One of the top-scoring establishments in the Broadcast area is The Angel and Harp pub in Great Dunmow, which scored four out of five.

Amy Vincett has been front of house manager since September. The pub was taken on by its current owners in 2009 and has been substantially improved before reopening.

Among the improvements is that customers can now see directly into the kitchen from the pub.

Ms Vincent said: “The kitchen was gutted and new equipment put in. We created a pass so people can see the theatre of the kitchen when in service, including the wood-burning oven which is a feature of the kitchen.

“Food hygiene is very important. Without the kitchen running as it should be, nothing comes together. It can affect your reputation and that’s what people are looking for.”

The ratings for all 450 food businesses will be available for anyone to view on the FSA website at