Follow the stars to the best eateries

Anyone looking to celebrate Christmas in a restaurant, cafe or pub in the county, can now check its hygiene rating.

The 5-Star Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, which was adopted in the county in April 2012, provides consumers with information about the hygiene standards in every food business in the county.

The ratings are backed up by visits from Northumberland County Council’s team of independent food inspectors.

The purpose is to allow consumers to make informed choices about the places where they eat out or shop for food, thereby encouraging businesses to improve their hygiene standards.

Coun Dave Ledger, policy board member for public protection, said: “Christmas is a busy time for our local restaurants, cafes and pubs.

“Across the county there are 700 with a star rating of 4 or 5-stars where people can enjoy their Christmas event safely.

“In total 82 per cent of all our food premises in Northumberland are rated good, or very good, with a four or five-star rating, that is nearly 2,350 very safe places providing food to our residents.

“The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme makes it easier for everyone to choose to eat out in places where food hygiene is given priority and we are working closely with local businesses to improve their ratings and to support the hospitality industry in Northumberland.

“I have every confidence that our Food Safety team will continue to provide excellent support and advice to our food businesses as well as taking prompt action against those businesses that put the public at risk.”

Visit to see the ratings.