Scores On The Doors Approaching Almost Half Of English Population

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The food hygiene website is a public/private partnership between over 120 local authorities and TransparencyData Ltd. It has been instrumental in bringing about the biggest improvement in food hygiene compliance by food businesses ever. Bradford has seen an increase in 5 star businesses from 177 to more than 950 in just 3 short years.

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The scheme encourages very high standards and any business getting the top 5 star rating is to be highly congratulated. In Bradford we have seen an increase in the number of 5 star businesses from 177 to over 950 in just 3 years.

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ScoresOnTheDoors, on the heels of its selection as a finalist within the Better Regulation category for this year’s Orange National Business Awards, announces its latest milestone – serving 23 million approaching nearly half of England’s residents.

Visitors can go to the website and search for a food business by name, category, location or hygiene score. After clicking on a business, the visitor is shown the latest food hygiene inspection star rating.

The site which went live 5 years ago has attracted support from over 120 English councils and continues to grow. The site has consistently attracted a strong public following with over half a million hits per month with very high visitor return rates.

The councils who are members of the scheme have got together and formed a user group which helps promote shared experiences and promotes best practice. Their pioneering work has been recognized and they have been selected as a finalist in the Better Regulation category for this year’s Orange National Business Awards.

As well as the web site, consumers can access the information via their mobile phones through free text messaging, WAP and a free iPhone app. Its success has been demonstrated by the iPhone app going straight into the iTunes appstore at no 1 under “New and Notable” and has attracted strong downloads ever since. An Android version will be available in October 2010.

With this new app, all users have to do is point their phone in the direction of a food business to see it’s latest rating. The app slogan “Before you fork out, check out!” says it all and never again do you need to wonder about the state of the kitchens when choosing where to eat.

Councils provide the information free-of-charge to the public as part of their obligations under Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations.

It’s not compulsory for businesses to display their certificates, but with the iPhone app diners can just point their phone at a business and get the rating.

As well as promoting better standards, the site now actually helps food handlers implement them. Through a partnership with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), it is now possible to take on-line courses directly from the site. The same Local Authorities who provide the data for the site can also teach and examine CIEH courses.

Proprietors are benefiting too with access to discounted liability insurance for 4 and 5 star rated premises. By making analysis and reporting tools available to commercial organizations some of the large pub chains such as Mitchells & Butlers and JD Wetherspoon use the site to monitor both their own and their competitors’ performance.

"The scheme encourages very high standards and any business getting the top 5 star rating is to be highly congratulated,” said David Clapham, Principal Environmental Health Manager for Bradford City Council. “In Bradford we have seen an increase in the number of 5 star businesses from 177 to over 950 in just 3 years.”

In addition as a result of the initiative there have been cost efficiency savings and a reduction in the burden on businesses. Lower risk premises require less inspections and Bradford now saves 396 inspections per year.

For more information:

Download the free iPhone app here: http://bit.ly/ukfoodhygiene
Mobile phone access http://www.sotd.tv or text sotd “name” and “town” to 60060
Web site: http://www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk

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Paul Hiscoe

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