Leaflets direct customers to hygiene details
Takeaway businesses in Wales will be required to promote their food hygiene ratings on leaflets which enable customers to order by phone or online when new rules come into force in November 2016, the Welsh Government has announced.
Wales was the first country in the UK to create a statutory food hygiene rating scheme in November 2013 when the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 made it compulsory for all food businesses - such as restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels and supermarkets - to publicly display their food hygiene rating on their premises.
From 28 November 2016 - the third anniversary of the statutory Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in Wales coming into force - all takeaway food businesses will be required to publish a bilingual statement on certain hardcopy publicity materials directing customers to the food hygiene ratings website.
If a takeaway leaflet or menu shows food for sale, the price and a way of ordering the food without visiting the premises, it will also have to show a statement which will remind customers they can check the food hygiene rating of the food business on the food hygiene ratings website.
The statement will also remind consumers they have a legal right to ask the food business for their food hygiene rating when they order.
Regulations which were passed by the National Assembly for Wales this week encourage the voluntary display of valid food hygiene ratings on this type of publicity material but they specify that, if displayed, a rating must be valid and in the specified format so it can be clearly seen.
The latest statistics show more than 60% of food businesses in Wales have been awarded the highest (very good) rating - a five. This is up from 33.2% in March 2012.
Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: "The introduction of a statutory food hygiene rating scheme has been a big success story for Wales, helping to drive up food hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes and other food business right across the country.
"The scheme has provided important information for consumers when deciding where to eat out or buy food. This has, in turn, played a significant role in encouraging businesses to improve their food hygiene standards.
"These new measures will enhance the statutory Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in Wales by filling a gap - people ordering food by phone do not have the opportunity to see the food hygiene rating of the takeaway business before placing their order. The display of the statement on leaflets will encourage consumers to view the rating online and to ask the takeaway food business for their food hygiene rating over the phone before ordering.
"I would like to thank local authorities in Wales for all their hard work in making this scheme a success."