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First business in Northern Ireland fined for failing to display food hygiene rating sticker

10 Jan 2018
Belfast City Council has taken the first successful prosecution against a business for failing to display a valid food hygiene rating sticker.

On 9 January, at Belfast Magistrates’ Court, PGMB Ltd, the proprietor of Café Fish, 340 Lisburn Road, Belfast was fined £250 and ordered to pay £120 legal costs, for failure to display a valid food hygiene rating sticker as required by Sections 7(1) and 10 (1) of the Food Hygiene Rating Act (Northern Ireland) 2016. At the time of the offence the premises was rated one, indicating “major improvement necessary” to comply with the food hygiene requirements.

The court heard that Council officers visited Café Fish on a number of occasions and repeatedly advised the owner of the need to display the rating before instigating legal proceedings. This is the first business in Northern Ireland to be prosecuted for failure to display a valid food hygiene rating sticker under the legislation.

The premises currently has a hygiene rating of four, indicating a “good” level of compliance with hygiene requirements and a valid food hygiene rating sticker is now being displayed.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rates food hygiene standards in businesses where people eat or buy food. The rating scheme applies to cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, delis and other food shops in Northern Ireland. Food hygiene ratings are awarded to food businesses following inspections by district council food safety officers. The ratings reflect the hygiene conditions found at the premises at the time of inspection. A rating of 0 means urgent improvement is necessary, with five meaning food hygiene standards are very good.

A valid food hygiene rating must be displayed by law at or near all entrances to a food premises where it can be readily seen and easily read by customers before they enter the establishment when open for business.

The Food Standards Agency runs the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in Northern Ireland. Local councils are responsible for inspecting and rating food premises in their areas.The food hygiene rating of any Belfast premises can be viewed via www.belfastcity.gov.uk/food.
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