Why isn't the FHRS mandatory in England?

02 July 2018, Sam Cleal, Digital Content Executive

Friends enjoying dinner together

What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and why do only certain places display a rating?

CIEH has launched a brand new video that critiques the Food Standards Agency's voluntary Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in England. Since the scheme is not mandatory here, and food businesses do not have to display their rating, 'there is a temptation that businesses issued with a hygiene rating of 0, 1 or 2 wouldn’t display those ratings and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. This means a consumer can’t make an informed choice about where they eat', says Kate Thompson, Director of CIEH Wales.

CIEH is strongly in favour of having a mandatory Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in England, meaning every restaurant, pub, hotel and so forth would have to display their hygiene rating as well as them being available on the FSA website - where all ratings are currently publicly available. This helps you — the consumer — make the best and safest decision about where to eat. So why aren't we doing this already? Watch to find out more!

“There are really four main challenges around setting up a mandatory scheme in England”

Wales and Northern Ireland already have a mandatory version of the scheme, while Scotland has an alternative system called the Food Hygiene Information Scheme.

There are certain key issues with implementing the scheme in England on a mandatory basis, which we explore in the video. As well as these, it is generally true that English local authorities have fewer resources than corresponding authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland, which would negatively affect the scheme being assuredly carried out across England.

So what do you think? Tell us by commenting on the video on YouTube - we'd love to hear views!