The people who protect your plate in South Somerset

We love our food, there's simply no denying it. In fact, as a nation, we spent over £203 billion on food and drink last year alone. But the safety of our food is often something we take for granted.

So this week, as part of National Food Safety Week (4th - 10th June 2018), South Somerset District Council is partnering with the Food Standards Agency to shine a light on food safety and the team working behind the scenes in South Somerset to help ensure that the food we buy and eat is safe and honest.

There are a whole host of people that work to keep food safe; South Somerset 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. 98% of businesses inspected in South Somerset 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.  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. The vast majority of food businesses in and around South Somerset are ranked generally satisfactory, good or very good.

Councillor Val Keitch, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health at South Somerset District Council said, "We have a dedicated team that work hard to ensure that food is safe in South Somerset so that residents and visitors can dine out with peace of mind. Research shows that food hygiene when eating out is the UK's number one food safety concern so we are really pleased that the majority of our local food businesses hold a rating of 3 or above."

"Working in partnership with South Somerset District Council and their expert Environmental Health Officers we are dedicated to ensuring that people can trust that the food they buy and eat is safe and honest. Our Food Hygiene Rating Scheme empowers the public to make informed decisions about where to buy and eat food, it's also proved hugely effective in driving up standards in food businesses across the country," said Angela Towers, Head of the Food Hygiene Rating Team at the Food Standards Agency.

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