Around Ealing Spring 2014 - Page 15

SAFER COMMUNTIES good hygiene rating shows the business in a good light to customers. “There are a lot of great, free resources out there for people to research the requirements, such as the Food Standards Agency website. “Yet, many of the issues we encounter are rooted in a lack of training and supervision. Fortunately, these problems can be addressed. Occasionally, however, we come across something much worse and have to take firm action – sometimes this can mean going to court.” Inspections – and ratings The team’s inspectors conduct checks on food, testing small samples looking for harmful bacteria, chemical contaminants or evidence of fraudulent activity – such as cheaper rice being sold as Basmati. They also check food labelling to assess the validity of claims such as ‘Halal’ or ‘gluten free’. And they check food preparation areas, general cleanliness, the hygiene training given to staff, and lots more. Ultimately, they award the places they inspect a food hygiene rating of between zero and five. If businesses score poorly, the team provides advice on how to improve and will return soon after to check again. In extreme cases, the team can then close a business temporarily until it has reached a satisfactory standard – or even look to prosecute and shut it down permanently. All of the businesses are inspected using the Food Standards Agency’s Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and the inspection scores are available for you to view at rat