From chip shops and Indian restaurants, and cafes to hotels, every Dacorum business serving food must be inspected by council officials – but how do they rate?
Over the last four months, a total of 73 eating places in Dacorum have been graded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and five of those places were told to make improvements.
No places scored a zero (Urgent Improvement Necessary), but Canton City in Tring and Thai Chicken in Hemel were given a one-star rating (Major Improvement Necessary).
Churchill and Zeera in Hemel Hempstead along with Curry Garden in Berkhamsted were slapped with a two-star rating (Improvement Necessary).
The good news is that most businesses preparing food in Dacorum (93.5 per cent) are currently rated with a score of three stars (Satisfactory) or above.
Since September, 34 places including South Hill Primary School in Hemel Hempstead have received five stars – the highest possible rating for food hygiene.
Crazy Fried Chicken and the Toby Carvery in Kier Park received a score of three out of five.
In Tring, six of the 10 places inspected since September 1, have received five stars.
The Queens Head in Long Marston received a rating of three stars.
In Berkhamsted, the likes of Costa, Bill’s and the Giggling Squid were among the 15 places to receive five stars.
Bel Caffe on Berkhamsted High Street and the Taj Mahal were both given a score of three out of five.
The Food Standards Agency requires places to have a ‘system or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat’. It also needs to see ‘evidence that staff know about food safety’ and ‘have confidence that standards will be maintained in future’.
Inspectors are not required to give any notice and have the right to inspect the premises at any reasonable hour.
They check three areas: food handling, building cleanliness, and the management of food safety.
These three scores are then added together to rate standards from zero to five. Visit www.ratings.food.gov.uk to find out how clean your favourite place really is.