05/01/2007

Belfast food outlets to be rated online

Eating establishments in Belfast are soon to be rated on a new website to be set up by Belfast City Council.

The website, which will be known as 'Scores on the Doors', will provide a facility for consumers to be able check whether the standard of the food served at the premises is up to scratch.

A number of Councils across the UK have already signed up to the pilot initiative and earlier this week, Belfast City Council voted to follow suit.

The majority of food outlets, including restaurants, cafés and takeaways in Belfast are already believed to be of a high standard and the City Council want this information to be readily available at the click of a mouse.

The initiative aims to maintain the high standard and encourage others to encourage food safety compliance and reduce food poisoning incidents, if not, they could be named and shamed on the site.

Councillor Peter O'Reilly, chairman of the Health and Environmental Services Committee said: "Publishing this information will be a handy tool for consumers, allowing them to make an informed decision about where they eat and it has the added benefit of encouraging Belfast's restaurants, cafés etc to keep food standards high.

"People will be able to log onto the website and check the rating of their local restaurant and even their corner shop."

He added that businesses will also be provided with a certificate and encouraged to display the information on their premises.

Damian Connolly, environmental health manager with Belfast City Council said that recent inspections by health officers have shown that the majority of food outlets in Belfast already had high food standards and take the issue of food safety very seriously.

A rating structure is expected to be introduced with premises awarded stars on a scale of 0-5, with five being for the highest possible.

(EF)

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