New food hygiene scheme launched in Stoke Newington
By poppy_smith | Saturday, December 15, 2012, 12:22
A new food hygiene scheme has been launched in the Stoke Newington area.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme has been developed by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with local authorities, across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The aim of the scheme is to reduce the number of people who get food poisoning, which is currently around one million each year. Each food business is scored between 0 and 5 based on inspections by Environmental Health.
Launching the scheme in Lardo, a five star rated restaurant close to London Fields, Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said: "The launch of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in Hackney shows the borough is serious about improving food safety. I want to congratulate the businesses I met with today for receiving the top rating of five and setting a great example in reassuring customers the food they eat is safe and tasty."
Anna Soubry and Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture also presented head chefs, owners and managers from some of Hackney's restaurants and cafes with their new certificates. They included Claudio Torres, head chef at the Hoxton Square Bar and Restaurant and Kevin Gratton, group head chef of Tramshed in Shoreditch, as well as Oniel Hyatt and Joan Austin from City Edge and Ali Kurt who runs Serhat's Café.
Cllr McShane said: "In Hackney we're spoilt for choice with so many excellent restaurants, cafes and independent food retailers on our doorstep. This scheme means residents and visitors can be confident that the food business they choose to eat in or shop from is striving for professionalism at every level, when they see the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme sticker in the window."
Jeff Rooker, Chair of the Food Standards Agency also welcomed Hackney joining the national scheme and said, 'It's great news that Hackney have announced that they are now part of this national scheme, as it means that London now has the vast majority of boroughs publishing hygiene ratings in a way that is consistent across the capital. Many people suffer from food poisoning every year, but we shouldn't feel we are gambling with our health when we eat out. If customers are looking for a hygiene rating, this will drive food businesses to improve their standards."
Lardo, the venue for the launch of the scheme has been open for business less than a year but has already received a rave review from The Times food critic Giles Coren, who said it has "the best pizzas in London, wood-fired in a jewelled igloo."
Receiving her certificate, Eliza Flanaghan, owner of Lardo said: "We have always aimed high since we opened, both in the quality of the food we serve to the standards we keep in food hygiene and the warmth of service. It's great to be recognized as a high achiever and we hope to only improve as we grow as a business."
The National Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme follows the Scores on the Doors initiative which Hackney Council launched in 2008. Ratings can be viewed online at food.gov.uk/ratings and a Food Hygiene Standards app is available for smart phones from iTunes.
For more information visit
www.hackney.gov.uk/e-env-environmental-health.htm or call 020 8356 4911.