Thinking of eating out this Christmas?
If you are planning that special Christmas meal with family, friends or work colleagues, Croydon Council’s food safety team is urging you to look before you book, as a little simple homework in the early stages of planning that special meal might spare you a nasty bout of illness.
The festive season is a time to enjoy good company and good food without worrying about food poisoning. But the truth is, you can’t tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy the staff look, nor by how busy is the place.
It is the things that can’t be seen – like germs spread by bad hygiene practices – that need to be considered. There is one easy way to set your mind at rest, and that is to check the food hygiene rating.
The food hygiene rating throws a light on the standards in restaurants and other food businesses. Checking could not be easier; just go to the Food Standards Agency website or, if you’re out and about, check for the green and black sticker in the front window; if you can’t see one, just ask.
The ratings are determined by the council’s food safety officers and run from zero to five, with a five rating indicating a very good level of food hygiene and safety. In Croydon, more than 1,800 food businesses rated three or better, so there are plenty of places with good standards, and those not meeting the grade are easily avoided.
If a green and black sticker is not displayed in the window, or a low rating is shown online, a better-informed choice can be made.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“When planning where to go, residents and visitors can easily check hygiene ratings online and use that information to choose a restaurant for their Christmas party that takes food hygiene and safety seriously.
“Christmas is an important time for local businesses. A good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of, and the vast majority of Croydon restaurants have a rating of three or above.
“Customers have made it plain that a clear display of the hygiene rating sticker matters to them, helping them decide which restaurant to choose for their celebrations. We’re encouraging local food businesses to display their rating and benefit from doing so by having a prosperous festive period.”
For more information, visit www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/hygieneratings