Five star rating for South Somerset District Council’s Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

A recent Food Hygiene Rating Scheme satisfaction survey has revealed that South Somerset District Council’s Food Safety team have been earning five star reviews.

image001According to the recent survey, 100% of the 69 businesses who returned their questionnaires strongly agreed or agreed that the contact from the team was helpful. 74% also felt that displaying their Food Hygiene Rating score has had a positive effect on their business or trade.

Other results also showed that 78% of businesses think that displaying your Food Hygiene Rating Scheme score should be made compulsory and 99% of businesses felt that information or advice given from SSDC’s Food Safety officers was either very easy to understand or fairly easy to understand.

The National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme provides customers with at-a-glance information about hygiene standards in food businesses. Businesses in South Somerset are rated by food hygiene inspectors, and this helps customers make informed choices about where they buy and eat food. The food hygiene rating is not a guide to food quality.

Once a business has been inspected by an officer of South Somerset District Council, they are given a rating for the standards of hygiene found at the time and issued with a rating sticker, which they are encouraged to display. Inspecting officers take into account:

  • How hygienically the food is handled – safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.
  • The condition of the structure of the premises – cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.
  • How food safety is managed and documented – using systems such as ‘Safer Food Better Business’ or equivalent.

Councillor Peter Seib, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health said, “This is fantastic feedback. SSDC always tries to deliver ‘business friendly regulation’, helping entrepreneurs through the dreaded ‘red tape’, but doing so in a way which delivers real business benefits.

“The SSDC Food Safety Team is charged with protecting the public but we have seen a clear trend of improving food quality as well, with more and more South Somerset premises achieving the coveted “5-Star” hygiene rating on the Food Standards Agency scheme.

“Two things stand out. 100% of the businesses thought SSDC’s visit had been helpful and 78% thought participation should be compulsory! That is a very positive result given the poor national press that comes with carrying a clipboard! I am very proud of the fact that the team has had many more letters of thanks than adverse comments.

“There is also a clear benefit across South Somerset’s economy if workers are becoming ill with food poisoning less frequently”.

You can see the results of the 2014 Food Hygiene Rating Scheme satisfaction survey online at