Romantic residents planning a special Valentine's date this year should 'look before they book' when it comes to food hygiene.
Rochdale Borough Council is supporting the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) campaign which is encouraging people to check the food hygiene rating of a restaurant before booking a meal for their sweethearts.
The food hygiene rating scheme helps diners avoid food poisoning because a restaurant's hygiene standards can't be judged by how clean and tidy it looks.
'There's nothing romantic about food poisoning'
Food businesses are rated on their hygiene standards, based on inspections carried out by council food safety officers and scored on a scale ranging from 0, which means 'urgent improvement necessary' to a top rating of 5 which is 'very good'. Outlets with a level three rating or higher are compliant with industry standards.
Hygiene ratings can be found on the FSA's website and businesses are required to display a green and black sticker with their hygiene rating on. Residents should ask businesses what their rating is before eating if there is no sticker displayed.
'Show your valentine that you care'
Councillor Janet Emsley, Rochdale Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, health and wellbeing, said: "There's nothing romantic about food poisoning. Making sure our residents can eat out safely is very important to us and we have been working with our restaurants, shops and takeaways to ensure they meet hygiene standards. We currently have 1,142 premises in the borough with a level three hygiene rating or higher, who really care about serving great quality food to their customers. Show your valentine that you care by checking the hygiene ratings before you book and make it a night to remember for the right reasons."
Restaurants, cafes and takeaways are all included in the scheme, so whether eating out or ordering in this Valentine's Day residents can have peace of mind.
To check a business's
food hygiene rating or look for their green and black sticker.