Last week, the food hygiene ratings for Gloucestershire were released and needless to say that some businesses fared better than others.
The scheme, which is run by local authorities in England, Northern Ireland and Wales operates in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and was created to help the public choose where to eat, drink and shop. On site inspections are regularly carried out by EHOs who award establishments with a hygiene rating that indicates how closely the business is meeting food hygiene laws and whether they pose a potential health risk.
Businesses are encouraged to display stickers at their premises – on windows or doors – showing the public their hygiene rating and are obliged to tell you their result if asked. If your rating is good, then it’s a nice and easy bit of PR to entice customers in!
Coincidentally this week (18th-24th May) is Food Safety Week, and this year the FSA is focusing their attention on chicken. The 2015 Chicken Challenge is kicking off a summer long initiative to promote tips and advice on how to correctly store, handle and cook chicken during BBQ season.
The main cause for concern is a little bug called campylobacter, it’s the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and 4 in 5 cases are caused by contaminated poultry. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but if it affects you, you’ll certainly know about it!
From the British Retail Consortium and Chicken Tonight, to M&S, Lidl and the WI, the Chicken Challenge has got support from big names across the food chain and it is aiming to halve the levels of food poisoning from campylocbacter by the end of 2015; saving over 100,000 people from getting sick!
From a PR point of view, it’s always interesting to see how the running of these nationwide campaigns changes over time. With the advent of technology, we have seen the variety of must-have campaign materials increase to make YouTube videos, infographics, online pledges/ petitions and downloadable promotional materials the norm.
You can see the kind of digital materials being produced and learn more about eating safe, by visiting The Chicken Challenge website.