Bexley’s Environmenal Health Team now offers repeat visits - within 6 weeks - to restaurants hoping to improve rating

PUBLISHED: 11:44 27 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:44 27 July 2017

Restaurants and takeaways should display their rating in the window

Restaurants and takeaways should display their rating in the window

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Restaurants and takeaways would usually have to wait up to six months

Bexley’s Environmental Health Team is offering businesses that receive poor food hygiene ratings the chance of a repeat visit to allow them to improve their scores quickly rather than waiting for their next visit.

The offer, that has been in place since April, has been taken up by 22 businesses so far.

Before it was in place, businesses had to wait until their next scheduled visit to get the chance to increase their published rating. This process could take up to 6 months.

Now they can apply for a visit within six weeks of their initial inspection.

Cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, councillor Peter Craske said: “We want to make sure our residents are able to enjoy local places to eat and drink safe in the knowledge that they have a good food hygiene rating.

“Bexley is one of the safest places to eat in London, with a large percentage of high food hygiene ratings, but there is always more that can be done.

“Now, if a business receives a low score but wants to make the changes needed to improve, they can do so quickly rather than wait. Our ideal is to have all our businesses receive that high score in the first visit – but realistically we know that this isn’t always going to happen.

“At Bexley we can offer support, training and a quick return visit once the necessary changes have been made.”

The cost of a follow-up inspection is £140.

The team also offer one-to-one training sessions for businesses and are looking at running regular workshops. Of the businesses that have already taken up the scheme, 95 per cent improved their rating on their second visit.

The council visits over 900 food establishments every year to make sure they are of a high enough standard. Those that don’t fit the bill and have a score below three, face possible closure or fines.

Restaurants and takeaways should display their food hygiene score in their window.

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