Displaying Food Hygiene Standards Should Be Mandatory Says GMB Union

It should be mandatory for food hygiene ratings to be displayed at premises in England to help improve hygiene standards as is already the case in Wales and Northern Ireland says GMB Southern

There are 369 (2.8%) food establishments in Dorset and Wiltshire that have a Food Hygiene Rating of 2 or less, those requiring improvement, a new study by GMB Southern region shows.

Wiltshire has the largest number of food establishments in Dorset and Wiltshire requiring improvement with 162 (3.5%).

Next in the league with the highest number of food establishments requiring improvement is Swindon with 108 (7.7%), followed by Bournemouth with 53 (2.7%) and Poole with 22 (3.2%).

In Dorset and Wiltshire as a whole, 2.8% of food establishments require improvement, lower than the England figure of 5%.

Set out in the table below are the current figures for 10 districts and unitary authorities in Dorset and Wiltshire showing the number of businesses with a Food Hygiene Rating of 0-2.  These numbers are correct as of 22 September 2017.

On the back of the study, GMB Southern is calling for it to be made mandatory that Food Hygiene ratings produced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) must be displayed in the premises of any organisation that sells or provides food in England. Wales introduced mandatory display of food hygiene ratings in November 2013 and Northern Ireland in October 2016.

Businesses with low rating (0-2 Number of businesses % low rating
England 21,490 430,085 5.0
Dorset and Wiltshire 369 13,245 2.8
1 Wiltshire 162 4,614 3.5
2 Swindon 108 1,406 7.7
3 Bournemouth 53 1,956 2.7
4 Poole 22 677 3.2
5 Purbeck 7 586 1.2
6 Christchurch 5 332 1.5
7 East Dorset 5 561 0.9
8 West Dorset 4 1,514 0.3
9 North Dorset 3 728 0.4
10 Weymouth and Portland 0 871 0.0


Paul Maloney, GMB Southern Secretary, speaking in Brighton at the Labour Party conference said, “GMB consider that all food premises in England should be forced to display ‘Scores on the Doors’ ratings to improve hygiene standards and protect people from harm.These scores are the results of inspections by local authority environmental health teams. They score food outlets from zero to five based on factors such as kitchen cleanliness, cooking methods and food management. tOutlets inspected include restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, sandwich shops, supermarkets and delicatessens. Consumers have an absolute right to know what score any outlet they may want to use has got.

“Food outlets in Wales and Northern Ireland are legally required to display their rating. However, in England, outlets do not have to display the rating they have been awarded.Those scoring low marks are much less likely to put them on show to customers. Whether it’s the 162 food establishments Wiltshire or the 1 in 13 chance of visiting a potentially dirty or unsafe kitchen in Swindon the public should have a right to know the score.

“Food hygiene standards and compliance levels have risen since the scheme was introduced in Wales.Making the display of hygiene ratings on the door compulsory in England would incentivise food outlets to improve or maintain high hygiene standards. This would reduce the risk of illness for customers, improve consumer confidence and save taxpayers’ money by reducing the need for, and cost of, enforcement action by councils. Everyone wins.”