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Look before you book

With preparations for the festive season on the horizon, thoughts will soon be turning to finding the perfect place to celebrate.

If you're planning a special Christmas meal with work colleagues, family or friends we would urge you to 'look before you book' and check the Food Hygiene Rating of the venue you're thinking about eating at first.

The number of businesses with top-ranked Food Hygiene Ratings in South Holland remains at an all-time high, with latest figures showing the percentage of venues with 3 (satisfactory) 4 (good) and 5 (very good) ratings is 98.4 per cent, whilst there are still no businesses with the lowest ranking of zero.

Despite the fact that food lovers have plenty of excellent options to choose from, we would like to remind people to look out for the ratings.

Councillor Anthony Casson, South Holland District Council's Portfolio Holder for Food, Health and Safety, said: "Our Food, Health and Safety Team works hard by continually monitoring standards across the district and offering advice and guidance on good hygiene practices.

"The fact that we currently have such high ratings is testament to their dedicated work, but we never get complacent and as Christmas approaches we want to make residents fully aware of how to check for ratings.

"A good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of. It matters to customers so we are encouraging all businesses in the district to display their rating and have a prosperous festive season."

To find a restaurant's Food Hygiene Rating simply visit the Food Standards Agency website: www.food.gov.uk/ratings or if you're out and about check for the green and black sticker which is usually on display in a front window or on a wall. If you can't see one, just ask.

The ratings are determined following an unannounced visit by local authority food safety officers, who follow national guidelines and are trained to make sure ratings are consistently applied.

The ratings run from 0 to 5, with a 5 rating meaning a very good level of food hygiene.

South Holland District Council regularly promotes the latest 5 rated businesses on its Facebook page.