On November 30th the Food Standards Agency (FSA) celebrate the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme’s (FHRS) fifth birthday. These days 70% of consumers recognise the distinctive green and black rating sticker. 93% of businesses have already achieved a rating of 3 or more with research showing that ratings of 3 to 5 are acceptable to consumers.

Strive for a 5

Lots of food business owners agree that an FHRS level 5 rating brings in more hungry customers. Nearly 50% of businesses displaying their rating report positive impacts like improved reputation, and increased customer confidence.

Thanks to the FSA’s campaigning, more and more consumers will be looking for hygiene ratings of 3-5 now. What’s more, the FSA is also pushing to have display of hygiene ratings made mandatory in England, as it already is in Wales. If successful the public will have more opportunity to make informed decisions and vote with their feet.

At the Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) we always tell our members to aim for nothing less than a 5 rating. And with the FSA’s current efforts, it’s never been more important to strive for a five, and shout about it when you get it.

Two Peas Street FoodDisplaying your FHRS rating

By displaying your rating, you’ll give people the opportunity to make a more informed choice about where to eat and you’ll improve your reputation, increase customer confidence and receive more custom.

As a market trader you might be thinking, “I don’t have anywhere to display my rating” but there are options. Lots of mobile caterers stick their FHRS rating to their unit wall or attach it to portable boards on their counters.

You should add your FHRS rating to your website, social media images and marketing materials too, to encourage people to eat your food and demonstrate how safe mobile catering really is.

And if you haven’t got a level 5 yet?

With a real sense of commitment to food hygiene alongside the right preparation you can do it. There are lots of things you can do to prepare for your next inspection. Take a look at the free guides to hygiene inspections at www.ncass.org.uk/getlegal.

NCASS members have a council-approved due diligence system and an online editable HACCP system, and will soon be inspected to one standard, no matter which local authority they’re trading in. Each plays a pivotal role in achieving an FHRS level 5. Find out more at www.ncass.org.uk.