Go to navigation

Look before you book this Christmas

7 December 2017

Medway Council is encouraging residents to check restaurants’ food hygiene ratings online, before booking their festive meal this Christmas.

The council’s Food and Safety Team carries out more than 1,000 food safety inspections every year on restaurants, cafes and pubs across Medway. Backed by the Food Standards Agency, the rating gives a score out of five for food hygiene found on the date of the visit and focuses on food handling, cooking and storage. More than three quarters (78 per cent) of Medway eligible food businesses have received the top rating of five, significantly higher than the national average of 61 per cent.

'We want everyone to have a memorable Christmas meal - for the right reasons'

David Brown, leader of the Food and Safety team, said: “It’s brilliant that so many businesses across Medway have the highest possible food hygiene rating. This Christmas, make sure you check a restaurant’s rating before you book. We want everyone to have a memorable Christmas meal, for the right reasons.”

'A good rating can help bring hungry customers through the door'

Cllr Jane Chitty, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, said: “Food hygiene is incredibly important and it is fantastic that 78 per cent of Medway’s food outlets have top scores. We encourage all businesses to display their ratings as they are something to be proud of, as a good rating can help bring hungry customers through the door. We hope residents, visitors and businesses check hygiene ratings online, before booking their festive meal. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from and it’s the time of year to really support the fantastic businesses, and places to eat in Medway, with confidence. All of which contributes to having a very happy Christmas.”

The Food Health and Safety team offer support to businesses

Food outlets with lower scores are supported by the team to improve their score. The Food and Safety Team visit the premises several times and work with them to improve, but will also consider taking enforcement action if the owner does not take action.

Don't wash your Christmas turkey

Medway Council is also reminding residents not to wash their turkey this Christmas. Washing poultry does not make it safer to eat, it actually increases the risk of spreading harmful bacteria around the kitchen, which can cause food poisoning.

Top tips

The Food Health and Safety team’s top three tips are:

  • Find out the restaurant’s hygiene rating online before you book, visit http://www.food.gov.uk/
  • Check the restaurant is displaying a hygiene rating sticker (although display is not mandatory)
  • Check the restaurant hygiene score is the restaurant’s latest rating – it should be no more than two years old