People who plan to dine out in South Tyneside over Christmas are being urged to check out the hygiene rating.
All businesses across the borough which sell food have been inspected on their levels of cleanliness.
The scheme aims to give people peace of mindCoun Moira Smith
Ratings range from 0 - which means urgent improvement necessary - to a top rating of 5 for very good.
The scheme covers restaurants, cafes, takeaways, mobile caterers, butchers and bakers.
More than half of the 1,084 South Tyneside businesses listed in the website have received the top rating of 5 and 94% are rated 3 and above.
Coun Moira Smith, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for area management and community safety, said: “Christmas is a great time for getting together with family, friends or work colleagues.
“However, I would urge people to take a minute and check the ratings before deciding where to eat. The scheme is simple but effective in helping people to understand what goes on behind the scenes in the kitchen and gives peace of mind that the food served meets current hygiene standards.”
People are also being encouraged to look out for the green and black food hygiene rating stickers displayed at premises to find out how well they meet hygiene laws
The food hygiene rating is not a guide to food quality, but aims to give customers an idea of what’s going on in the kitchen or behind closed doors.
The scheme also encourages businesses to improve hygiene standards.
For information on food hygiene ratings or to find out how your favourite place to eat rates visit www.food.gov.uk/ratings