Scores on the doors
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2009)|
Scores on the doors is a generic term for publication or display of food hygiene or food safety inspection results of food businesses. Regulatory inspection results are published as either an inspection and compliance summary or, elsewhere, a grade or score is all that is published.
At the 2004 Chartered Institute of Environmental Health conference, the institute called upon the UK government to mandate the publication of food inspection information, citing similar extant schemes in the USA, Canada and Denmark which had been successful in improving compliance and promoting better consumer choice. On 1 January 2005 the UK Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations came into effect and local councils slowly began to publish the information on the Internet and via certificates. However there was no uniform grading system and many councils chose their own schemes, thus making comparison difficult.
By 2013 all but 2 authorities in the UK had agreed to join the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (or in Scotland the Food Hygiene Information Scheme). Inspection results are published at www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk and via the 'Food Hygiene' app for iPhone or Android smartphones.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommended a 3 star scheme to its board in March 2008, however on 10 December 2008 the FSA board decided to approve a 6-tier system.
Following an agreement with Transparencydata in August 2011 the majority of councils in the UK have now signed up to publish their scores according to the FSA schemes.
Meanwhile, the original SOTD site continues to publish details of Food Hygiene scores as well as local awards such as Healthy Eating. Ahead of compulsory display in late 2013, many Commercial organisations now use performance management and benchmarking software to manage their estates.
In Australia, where national food safety standards are brought into force by state government statutes and enforced at the state or local level, the New South Wales Food Authority commenced a pilot program with local governments in 2010 utilising A, B and C letter grades. This was expanded to a trial in participating local government areas in 2011 utilising an equivalent system of star ratings (5 stars, 4 stars, 3 stars) and an accompanying interpretive grade (Excellent, Very Good or Good) to reflect the degree of compliance with minimum food safety standards. In late 2013 the program was enhanced to encourage further take-up.
Participation in the program is voluntary.