Food outlets with low hygiene ratings could face charge for fresh examination

Rotherham Town HallRotherham Town Hall
Rotherham Town Hall
Rotherham food outlets given low hygiene ratings may have to pay £150 from next month if they want their premises re-inspecting by the council.

Members of the ruling Cabinet on Rotherham Council are to decide whether to approve proposals for the charge, which would cover the cost of sending officers back to conduct further checks on premises where problems had been discovered on route visits.

Local authorities operate a zero to five rating for food outlets, with five ranking as the best, to give customers an indication of hygiene levels in the premises they may want to use.

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The businesses involved can display the results and they are also publicly available, meaning those which register low scores frequently want their premises re-examined after improvement work has been carried out.

In Rotherham that is currently done on request without charge, but the proposal is to introduce a charge which would mirror that already imposed on businesses wanting a follow up assessment in neighbouring Sheffield.

That is allowed under the terms of the scheme, which is operated by councils on a voluntary basis. A second option for councillors would be to leave the current arrangements unchanged.

A report with details of the scheme will be considered by councillors and states: “Hygiene standards within food businesses are critical to the health and well-being of all.

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“It is important that residents can readily identify those standards to allow informed choice.

“In Rotherham, the scheme, formerly known as ‘Scores on the Doors’, provides consumers with website information, together with displays at the premises themselves.

“These ratings do not reflect the quality of the food, but rather the hygiene standards within the food business.”