A higher-than-average number of food establishments in Northumberland are rated good or very good, according to new food-hygiene ratings.
Recently-released statistics show that out of the 5,415 food premises in the county, 98.4 per cent of them have a four or five star food-hygiene rating which is higher than both the national average of 93.5 per cent and the regional average of 96.4 per cent.
Businesses are inspected and rated by Northumberland County Council as part of the Food Standards Agency’s national food hygiene rating scheme.
Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader, Northumberland County Council, said: “It’s very reassuring for residents and visitors alike that the vast majority of our local food establishments have been given high ratings.
“The scheme is vital to ensure food can be enjoyed safely and the latest figures are a credit to local businesses and council teams for their hard work.
“As a council, the protection of the public is our highest priority and we continue to work closely with businesses to maintain this high standard.”
All businesses in the country are assessed on their compliance with food law. Food suppliers are rated on their food hygiene, structure and cleanliness and confidence in management.
After a premises has been inspected, an overall rating from zero to five is awarded based on the food-safety standards at the time of the inspection.
In Northumberland, the inspection programme is delivered by the Public Health Protection Unit and Business Compliance and Public Safety Unit.
As well as programmed inspections, the team provides a reactive response to a wide variety of food safety, food standards and safety issues which includes complaints about food establishments. Teams also respond to requests for advice for new businesses on food-hygiene requirements and matters such as composition and labelling.
Click here for more information about food hygiene ratings,