Call to back food safety sign system

Coun Tracey Dixon has urged people to take care with possible scams.
Coun Tracey Dixon has urged people to take care with possible scams.

People in South Tyneside are being encouraged to back a nationwide campaign and “stick” with food outlets that take hygiene seriously.

South Tyneside Council is supporting the “Where’s the Sticker” campaign, which is being run this month by the Food Standards Agency to remind people about the food hygiene rating scheme.

It provides information about hygiene standards found by local authority food safety officers when they inspect food outlets.

These inspections cover storage, preparation and cooking of food, as well as cleanliness, maintenance and pest control.

Under the scheme, food outlets are given a rating from 0 to five, with five being “very good.”

Businesses are given a green and black sticker to display, so it is easy to see at a glance how seriously they take hygiene.

A total of 541 promises in South Tyneside have a five-star rating while 263 are rated as four.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “The rating scheme is about giving people peace of mind when eating out or buying food.

“Taking a minute to check for the sticker before you go into premises simply means you can rest easy, knowing that the place you have chosen takes hygiene seriously.

“We know that many food businesses have seen more customers and enhanced reputation as a result of this scheme.”