Look before you book for Valentine's Day

If you’re planning that special Valentine’s date Forest of Dean District Council would like to remind you to ‘look before you book.’

Planning the perfect Valentine’s date is stressful enough. There’s plenty to worry about, the last thing you want on your mind before that special date is whether the place you choose is hygienic or not. There’s nothing romantic about food poisoning.

The truth is, you can’t tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy their staff look or by how romantic the ambience is. But at least the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme can take one worry off your mind.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rates food businesses on their hygiene standards, based on inspections carried out by local authority food safety officers. Businesses are rated on a scale ranging from 0 which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’ to a top rating of 5 which is ‘very good’.      

So, whether you’re reserving a table at that romantic hotspot, the cosy little café, or planning on ordering a takeaway on your way home for a romantic meal, make sure you choose one of the 584 (79%) of businesses in the Forest of Dean district with a rating of 3 or above.

It’s really easy to check. Just go online to the Food Standard Agency’s website: www.food.gov.uk/ratings or if you’re out and about check for the green and black sticker; if you can’t see one just ask the business.

Councillor Marrilyn Smart, Forest of Dean District Council cabinet member for the environment said: “When planning your special meal out, make sure you check the hygiene ratings online and choose a restaurant that takes food hygiene seriously. This is also an important time for local food businesses as a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of. The rating matters to customers, so we are encouraging all businesses in our district to display their rating.”


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