In April this year, Wealden's Public Health team joined the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, run by the Food Standards Agency.
The scheme gives food businesses a rating from between 0 - 5 depending on how good standards are. (5 is best, 0 the worst). These standards are assessed by Wealden's Environmental Health Officers during unannounced routine inspections. The results are converted into a rating, and a sticker and certificate given to the business for them to display.
Businesses do not have to display their stickers by law. Hopefully, it will become law before too long. But in the meantime, if you don't see a sticker you might like to make up your own mind about why the business isn't displaying it.
You can also view the ratings online at www.food.gov.uk/ratings. The website contains details of businesses in all the local authorities that run rating schemes.
So, if you're going away on holiday, or just out for the day, you can check out the local restaurants and pubs, or the hotel where you want to stay, and see how good they are. You can search by area, name of business or rating. While businesses like manufactures and wholesalers are not included in the scheme, caterers and most retailers are.
While the rating is no guarantee of quality, businesses that manage their hygiene well and provide safe food for customers usually provide good service too.