Food safety team working with businesses to improve hygiene

Standards of hygiene in the city’s food businesses have continued to improve, Brighton & Hove’s annual food safety plan for 2014/15 reveals.

The percentage of food premises achieving a standard of 3 to 5 on food hygiene ratings has increased from 91.4% in December 2012 to 92.9% in January 2014.

The number of five star-rated premises has also risen, from 1,311 in April 2012 to 1,469 in January of this year.

Brighton & Hove City Council has been very active in prosecuting a minority of premises for food hygiene breaches. There have been six between April 2013 and January 2014, compared to three to four a year on average before that.  Most of these have involved mouse or rat infestations.*

In the same period, April to January, 48 hygiene improvement notices were served and seven businesses voluntarily closed.

The annual feed and food controls service plan will be discussed by the environment, transport and sustainability committee on 4 March.

Chair of the committee, councillor Pete West, said: “Standards of food hygiene in the city are going up, with more food businesses than ever achieving five stars and nearly 93% having three or more stars, which is better than the national average.

“Where poor hygiene is found, the food safety team works with those businesses to help them improve. Customers are also more aware and are contacting us more, which means that our food safety team can intervene earlier. Five star establishments can advertise the fact on their windows, which is an added selling point and provides consumer confidence.”

Publicity from prosecutions for food hygiene breaches has also raised both awareness and food standards. More businesses are calling up for expert advice and staff are able to provide greater support to the poorer performing establishments.

There are 2,577 restaurants and other caterers in the city and the service performs well in comparison with other councils. Brighton & Hove is the eighth largest of the 56 unitary councils by number of food establishments and is one of only three that has undertaken 100% of its planned interventions. Brighton & Hove is also above average with 92.9% of its food businesses having hygiene ratings between 3 and 5.

More information

Read the full report (Agenda Item no. 87) here:

Check out the food hygiene ratings

* View details of the most recent food hygiene prosecutions:

The annual food enforcement service plan provides the basis on which local authorities are monitored and audited by the Food Standards Agency.