Protecting the food on your plate and eating out in Guildford

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 (4 to 10 June 2018), we are partnering with the Food Standards Agency to shine a light on food safety and the team working behind the scenes across the borough to help ensure that the food we buy and eat is safe.

There are a whole host of people that work to keep food safe; the Council has a team of professional officers whose job it is to inspect local food businesses to ensure hygiene standards are up to scratch. In Guildford, 96% of businesses inspected are currently rated 3 (generally satisfactory) or above under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

The national scheme covers businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers such as restaurants, pubs, caf├ęs, takeaways, food vans or stalls, canteens, hotels, supermarkets, schools, hospitals and care homes.

Lead Councillor for Licensing, Community Safety, Environmental Health and Emergency Planning, Cllr Graham Ellwood, says: "We have a dedicated team that works hard to ensure that food is safe in our borough, so our 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 and we are really pleased that the majority of our local food businesses are ranked good or very good, with a rating of 4 or above.

"We are fortunate to have so many great food outlets in Guildford and you can visit our website to check out the ratings to help you choose where to eat. Please also look out for our regular tweets highlighting local businesses that achieve the top, very good, 5 rating".

Angela Towers, Head of the Food Hygiene Rating Team at the Food Standards Agency, adds: "Working in partnership with Guildford Borough 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."

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.

Find out more about local ratings by visiting our Food hygiene rating scheme for businesses web page.

Published on 4 June.