We love our food, there’s simply no denying it. In fact, as a nation, we spent over £203 billion on food and drink last year alone. However, the safety of our food is often something we take for granted.

So this week, as part of National Food Safety Week (Monday 4th to Sunday 10th June), Derby City Council is partnering with the Food Standards Agency to shine a light on food safety and the team working behind the scenes in Derby to help ensure that the food we buy and eat is safe and honest.

There are a whole host of people that work to keep food safe; Derby City Council has a team of dedicated environmental health officers whose job it is to inspect food businesses within Derby to ensure hygiene standards are up to scratch.

Meet Sarah O’Reilly, Senior Environmental Health Officer

To help customers to decide where to eat or where to shop for food within Derby, Derby City Council have adopted the Food Standards Agency’s national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.  The scheme covers businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers such as restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, supermarkets, schools and care homes and provides clear information about the businesses’ hygiene standards by awarding the business a hygiene rating.

There are six hygiene ratings ranging from ‘zero’ (urgent improvement required) at the bottom to ‘five’ (very good) at the top.  Businesses are given green and black stickers for display at their premises and all ratings are published online, so people can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food. Within Derby, 98% of businesses have received a food hygiene rating of three (generally satisfactory) or above under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Communities, Neighbourhoods and Streetpride said:

“We have a dedicated team that work hard to ensure that food is safe in Derby so that residents and visitors can dine out with peace of mind. Research shows that food hygiene when eating out is the UK’s number one food safety concern so we are really pleased that the majority of our local food businesses hold a rating of three or above.”

Angela Towers, Head of the Food Hygiene Rating Team at the Food Standards Agency commented:

“Working in partnership with Derby City Council and their expert Environmental Health Officers we are dedicated to ensuring that people can trust that the food they buy and eat is safe and honest. Our Food Hygiene Rating Scheme empowers the public to make informed decisions about where to buy and eat food, it’s also proved hugely effective in driving up standards in food businesses across the country.”

To find out more, visit the Council’s Food Hygiene and Safety website, which provides advice and guidance for new and existing food businesses as well as information for members of the public.