Almost half of customers could stop visiting their favourite restaurants, cafes and take-aways in South Holland when those businesses are legally required to display their food hygiene ratings.
The claim comes from commercial insurer NFU Mutual, which has carried out a survey showing that 44 per cent of people would turn away from even their favourite place to eat if a food hygiene rating of less than four out of five was on display. According to the Food Standards Agency, 77 businesses in South Holland have a rating of three or less.
Wales and Northern Ireland have already subscribed to mandatory display of food hygiene ratings schemes and new legislation is set to come into force in England within the next two years.
Agent at NFU Mutual in Spalding Phil Ingleby said: “Our report shows that when it comes to food safety customers have naturally high standards and that a ‘good’ score can no longer be seen as an aspiration but a minimum benchmark.”
More than 89 per cent of food businesses in South Holland have a food hygiene rating of four (good) or five (very good).
Phil added: “It’s fantastic to see that so many outlets have a rating of good or very good and the industry as a whole is taking real pride in food hygiene, but imminent compulsory displays are destined to be a game changer for those businesses struggling to reach the top grades.
“In advance of legislation changes all business owners should prioritise their food hygiene plans and processes, acting now to ensure that they have considered all hygiene and paperwork aspects rated by their local authority including cleanliness, structure and confidence in management, to ensure a continued rating of four or five for the day an inspector calls.”