Why I decided not to run a follow-up to the food hygiene ratings post

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Back in February I posted regarding the Food Standards Agency website where you can see scores from local food hygiene inspections, at the time the website had minimum publicity – very few people knew it existed. After I sent a flurry of tweets about the site and some astonishing results from the local area, and then the blog post, it seemed a lot more people were in the know. WalesOnline and yourCardiff both picked up on it, giving more exposure to this website that is so important to every consumer who eats – and I’m pretty sure that’s everyone.

I made particular light of establishments that received a 0/5 rating, for by it’s nature this must mean there are some considerable failings in hygiene and public safety at these places – what else could it possibly allude to? A vendetta by council officials on mass scale? I don’t think so.

Almost immediately I was contacted directly by four of these establishments, each in their own way explaining to me that the inspections aren’t fair, they caught them on the wrong day, you get a zero for even opening the door, blah blah blah and at the time these all seemed genuine enough – but after giving it some thought I have come to this conclusion;
The rules are strict to protect public safety, if you don’t like the rules or cannot comply with them – get out of the business.
If these companies want to exonerate themselves, get up to standard and ask for a re-inspection.

In 2005 there was an outbreak of E-coli that originated from a butcher in Merthyr Tydfil – the meat was distributes to local schools and one boy, 5 year old Mason Jones died as a result.
In no circumstance would I ever, ever want to be of the worry that the food provided to me, either for me to cook at home or to be cooked for me, should have any chance of hurting me or my family.

I can empathise with small business owners, coming up to code can cost money – installing new washbasins, etc isn’t cheap, but those are the rules and they’re the rules for very good reason. A lot of people believe that car insurance is an expensive scam, but it’s the law to have it and for very good reasons.

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