Planning a perfect Valentine’s date - check for food hygiene rates!

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Coleraine Borough Council in partnership with the Food Standards Agency is urging residents to look before you book and check the food hygiene rating of food providers before deciding where to eat.

Planning the perfect date can be stressful as there’s a lot to worry about, including of course whether or not you will get on, and if you will make a good impression. The last thing you want to think about before an important dinner is whether or not the place you choose to eat takes food hygiene seriously.

The truth is, you can’t tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy the staff look or by how romantic the décor and ambience is. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme means you don’t have to.

To check the Food Hygiene Rating of a business go online to the Food Standard Agency’s website at www.food.gov.uk/ratings or if you’re out and about look for the green and black sticker; if you can’t see one just ask the staff.

Alexis Bloomfield, Senior Environmental Health Officer at Coleraine Borough Council said, “When planning your special meal out, make sure you check the hygiene ratings online and choose a restaurant that takes food hygiene seriously.

“This is also an important time for local food businesses as a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of. It matters to customers so we are encouraging all businesses in Coleraine to display their rating.

“Valentine’s is a busy time for food businesses. A good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of and reassures your customers. Local businesses with high food hygiene ratings agree that can help make a positive difference to their business.”

Michael Jackson, Head of Local Authority Policy and Delivery at the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland, said, “On Valentine’s Day people are focused on making sure that special lunch or dinner goes well and that they make a good impression with their date.

“We want them to factor in the food hygiene rating when deciding where to go and then enjoy their romantic meal out.”