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Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Living Longer: Ageing Well
The third phase of the Welsh Government’s pioneering Strategy for Older People in Wales has been launched.
- ‘Enterprise Troopers’ set to storm Wales’ primary schools
- “Wales is leading the way on Sustainable Procurement” – Jane Hutt
- Living Longer: Ageing Well
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
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Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Bill – Frequently Asked Questions
What you need to know.
- What is the aim of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?
- What changes are proposed?
- Why introduce legislation on a food hygiene rating scheme?
- Why not continue the scheme on a voluntary basis?
- How are food hygiene ratings awarded and what do the ratings mean?
- What are the ratings based on?
- Why are food businesses with a ”0” hygiene rating allowed to stay open?
- How will putting a sticker on a door or window lead to food hygiene improvements?
- What establishments will be covered by the scheme?
- Do consumers support the scheme?
- Won’t a mandatory scheme be a burden on business?
- What support will food businesses be given to achieve good ratings?
- How frequently will businesses be inspected?
- When will a mandatory scheme come into effect?
- What penalties are proposed for non-compliance?
The scheme requires food businesses to display their hygiene rating sticker, numbered “0” (urgent improvement necessary) to “5” (very good), usually in the window of their premises. The rating will also be displayed online at the Food Standards Agency website. This enables consumers to make informed choices of where to eat out or shop for food and encourages food businesses to improve their hygiene standards.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) together with local authorities already operate a voluntary scheme in Wales, but this has a weakness in that businesses are not required to display their food hygiene rating. The mandatory scheme will require food businesses to display their food hygiene rating stickers and local authorities to continue to implement the scheme.
Good food hygiene is vital for the protection of human health. Food poisoning can cause serious health problems and death. Food hygiene rating schemes in other countries have shown they improve food hygiene standards and reduce the risk of food poisoning. Who runs the voluntary scheme?
The scheme is run by local authorities in Wales in partnership with the FSA. The FSA is the UK non-ministerial government department responsible for food safety. It gives local authorities advice, training, and other support to deliver the scheme.
The voluntary scheme is working well in Wales and food businesses with higher food hygiene ratings are displaying their stickers. Food businesses with lower food hygiene ratings are not displaying them. The mandatory display of food hygiene ratings will require all hygiene ratings to be displayed.
Ratings are determined by an authorised food safety officer,usually an Environmental Health Officer or an officer with equivalent food premises inspection qualifications working for a Local Authority. They consider the rating criteria during the inspections they perform and issuing a hygiene rating to the food business for display. The ratings are:
0 - Urgent improvement necessary
1 - Major improvement necessary
2 - Improvement necessary
3 – Generally satisfactory
4 – Good
5 – Very Good
The rating is based on an assessment of how well a food business complies with food law. It is based on criteria including food handling standards such as how the food is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored, the structural condition of the premises and management and record keeping procedures.
A “0” rating does not mean that there is an imminent risk to health. The Environmental Health Officer would take action to prohibit part of an operation or close a food business if there were such a risk. A business with a “0” rating would be subject to prompt follow-up action and re-inspection by the local authority.
All food businesses will have to display their hygiene rating sticker.
It will be visible to potential customers that food businesses with low scores of “0”, “1” or “2” require improvement. The negative impact this may have on their business is likely to encourage them to improve their food hygiene practice to obtain a better rating to display.
The FSA scheme applies to places where consumers eat out (including restaurants, takeaways, mobile caterers, cafés, hotels, pubs, schools, hospitals and residential care homes) as well as places where consumers shop for food (such as supermarkets, bakeries, and delicatessens).
A Consumer Focus Wales survey in October 2011 showed that 94 per cent of people in Wales thought it should be compulsory for food businesses to display their food hygiene rating score.
No. Businesses are already required to legally comply with hygiene regulations set out in food law. The scheme simply requires that businesses must display the hygiene rating sticker they have been awarded. Those businesses with poorer ratings may loose custom as a result of having to display them.
Food businesses will be offered assistance to engage with the scheme and improve their scores. The FSA will continue to make funding available to Welsh local authorities so that they can carry out additional advisory visits to businesses to help them improve their food hygiene ratings, particularly those where a poor rating is primarily due to inadequate written food safety procedures.
The frequency of programmed inspections by a local authority will be based on an assessment of risk to the consumer, such as the type of food business, the nature of the food and the size of the business.
Businesses will be able to continue to request a re-rating inspection under the proposed mandatory scheme after carrying out suitable remedial action and they will also be able to appeal against their score if they consider it unjust or unfair. However, the local authority will be required to charge a food business for the cost of undertaking a re-rating inspection.
It is expected that the earliest a mandatory scheme will come into operation will be late 2013 to include a period to allow businesses time to prepare.
The legislation proposes the introduction of fixed penalty notices of £200 for offences such as non-display of a rating with discounts for early payment. There are also powers to prosecute with a proposed maximum fine of £1000.