HYGIENE standards have declined at some of Stratford district’s restaurants, takeaways and other food businesses.
More than a fifth of the areas food businesses have seen their rating fall for hygiene according to Stratford District Council, while many of the area’s other food businesses are hitting the required standard.
There are just over 1,300 food-related businesses registered in the district and they are regularly inspected and given a rating out of five stars.
The council said that 74 per cent of food businesses had maintained their food hygiene standard and four per cent had actually improved.
But 22 per cent had seen a fall in their food hygiene rating.
Food safety officers inspect food businesses to check that they follow food hygiene and safety laws so that the food is safe to eat. They give the business a rating from zero (urgent improvement required) to five (hygiene standards are very good).
Food safety risks can be reduced by food businesses taking action on cleaning, pest control, food safety management and addressing food substitution issues which can cause risks for people with allergies and intolerances, and other vulnerable persons.
SDC community protection spokesman Coun Christopher Kettle said: “Good food safety is better business sense. As we see visitors returning to the district after Covid it is really important that we continue to focus on food safety standards in Stratford district.
“The majority of food businesses in the district are of a high standard – however, food and safety officers have seen a decline in food hygiene in certain areas, and this is just a reminder of the standards expected as businesses reopen, recruit and train new members of staff, or for those starting a new business venture.
“The food inspection team at the district council can and do support food businesses improve where necessary. The council is here to maintain food safety standards and we’re reminding businesses a visit from food safety inspector can happen at any time.”