Hygiene results must be disclosed

Councils are to be forced to disclose the results of hygiene inspections carried out in restaurants and food establishments.

The Information Commissioner has decided to force councils to disclose the results of hygiene inspections as a result of a Which campaign. He has said that from April 2006 a star rating will be set up so the public can compare scores easily. Results of hygiene inspections will be published.

Nick Stace, at Which, said: "Eating out at the moment is a lottery for people who have no way of knowing whether their chosen restaurant is clinically clean or swimming in filth. In fact, the only current way to avoid restaurants with bad hygiene inspection results is to become a hygiene inspector yourself.

"We have been campaigning for local authorities to make their hygiene results public and adopt a 'scores on the doors' system where the results of inspections are clearly displayed by restaurants and food establishments. This would not only help consumers make more informed choices but would also help drive up hygiene standards.

"We are very pleased that the Information Commissioner has set this precedent. The advice could not now be clearer that local authorities must disclose their hygiene scores."

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