A new national scheme which informs people of the hygiene standards of food outlets will be coming into use on the Isle of Wight.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS), which Isle of Wight Council helped develop and is operated by the Food Standards Agency, will replace the popular Scores on the Doors scheme which the council been running since 2007.

Since Scores on the Doors began, every one of the Isle of Wight’s 1900+ food outlets have been inspected and over 1000 have been give the top five star mark.

The idea behind the scheme, and the new FHRS, is to allow customers to see the hygiene standards of a food outlet, rewarding those businesses where standards are high, and encouraging others to improve. The scheme covers everything from restaurants, pubs, cafe’s and even mobile catering vehicles such as burger vans.

Barry Abraham, IW Council Cabinet member responsible for community safety said although Scores on the Doors is very popular, the move to the national scheme is a way of improving the service to residents. He said “Although our own food hygiene scheme is highly respected, council’s across the country are all adopting the new FHRS.

“The main reason is so that there is a consistent rating across the country, so if you have a meal in a restaurant in Coventry for example, you know they have been inspected to the same standards and criteria as restaurants on the Isle of Wight. This will help you make a decision on if you want to go into that outlet or not.

“One of the council’s environmental health officers was also seconded to the Food Standards Agency to assist with the development of the scheme, which is something the council can be proud of.”

The FHRS involves a 0 – 5 rating scale, with 0 meaning ‘urgent improvement necessary’ and 5 meaning ‘very good’. The current Scores on the Doors scheme operates on a similar basis, awarding 0 – 5 stars.

The FHRS will replace Scores on the Doors at a launch event on 29 March. Each food outlet on the Isle of Wight will receive their new window stickers and certificates shortly before this, based on the findings of their most recent food hygiene inspection.

A full list and the scores of every outlet under the current Scores on the Doors scheme on the Island can be found at www.iwight.com/scoresonthedoors/

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