A study conducted by food hygiene rating website SOTD (Scores on The Doors) has highlighted that 30% of consumers are reportedly nervous to set foot back into restaurants. What’s more is that 85% of consumers believe that online takeaway services should display their food hygiene rating where it can easily be seen at the time of ordering, with 86% believing physical establishments should have their rating clearly visible on the door. The lowest acceptable rating was tied between 3 and 4, with 82% of respondents stating they would not purchase from an establishment with a rating lower than this. On the 4th of July, the government’s lockdown rules to control coronavirus are easing in England to allow many more businesses, including pubs and restaurants to reopen. While many of these facilities have begun to offer delivery in an attempt to gain some revenue, many pubs and restaurants owners are facing closure due to the inability to trade. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many eateries have gone over three months without an in-person health and safety inspection. SOTD has launched Digital Inspections, a suite of tools to help local authorities regulate changes of use more quickly, ensuring that establishments that have switched to takeaway and delivery are compliant with food safety standards. Digital Inspections will also help authorities to manage the backlog when it comes to lower risk establishments and minimises risk of contamination inspectors can visit multiple establishments in a short space of time without increasing their carbon footprint or taking public transport. Inspections are completed by food business operators by first, electronically uploading documentation then, using their smartphones, being guided around the premises by an inspector. “Councils throughout the United Kingdom are now facing a 3-month backlog at a minimum, this is not only due to rescheduling postponed inspections that were scheduled to take place prior to, and during lockdown, but also due to thousands of businesses that adapted and switched to takeaway services to keep the country moving,” said Carol Archibald, Team Leader for Food, Health & Safety for Tendring District Council Archibald continues “We are incredibly grateful for our restaurants, cafes, pubs and the many other establishments that continued to feed the nation, but we also need to make sure that they’re compliant with food safety and COvid-19 standards. Digital inspections not only ensure this, but also minimise potential contamination and lower our carbon footprint as a government, as we navigate our way through the “new normal.”
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