Food hygiene ratings scheme in Wales 'a big success'

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Mandatory "scores on doors" hygiene ratings for restaurants and takeaways have driven up standards, the deputy health minister has said.

In November 2013 Wales became the first UK nation to require food outlets to display their inspection ratings.

In the two years since, the share of firms getting the top five-star rating has risen from 45% to just under 61%.

Vaughan Gething said the measure had resulted in clear benefits for food providers and their customers.

Nearly 26,000 food businesses are covered by the ratings, up from just over 22,000 when the mandatory system was launched.

The ratio of firms rated satisfactory or better (scores 3 to 5) rose from 86.9% to 94.4%, while the number of outlets with a zero rating halved from 134 to 61, around one in 500.

Mr Gething said: "The introduction of a statutory food hygiene rating scheme has been a big success story for Wales, helping to drive up standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes and other food business right across the country."

Nina Purcell, director of the Food Standards Agency in Wales, added that the scheme had gone "from strength to strength".

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