As the nights draw in and we begin to think of the long winter ahead our thoughts turn to Christmas, and all the questions it poses…

Who’s coming to us? Where are we going? Turkey or beef? What can I get for granddad? Where shall we have the Christmas do?

We can’t help with the first few but we can help with the last – the Christmas do.

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Love them or hate them, we all get invited to at least one!

And before you decide whether you put your name down and hand over your deposit, you should check out the food hygiene ratings of the venue.

And if you’re asked to organise a Christmas do, please take the time to also check the hygiene rating at the venue – many have very glossy and attractive advertising leaflets, but if it doesn’t display the food hygiene rating then can check it online. It’s also wise to check out if any guests have any food allergies and if so don’t forget to let the venue know when you book.

It’s quick and easy to do – and could save you and your colleagues or relatives a miserable Christmas.

All food businesses in Wales must, by law, display a rating at the premises and must inform customers of what their rating is when asked. You can check it out quickly and conveniently here.

In order to get a rating food outlets, such as restaurants, takeaways and pubs, are inspected by officers in our Food and Farming Team to check that their hygiene standards meet legal requirements.

The hygiene standards found at these inspections are rated on a scale ranging from 0 (urgent improvement necessary) to 5 (very good) following an unannounced food hygiene inspection.

During inspections, the officer checks how well the business is meeting the law by looking at:

  • How hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
  • The condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • How the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe, and food safety training.

The officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business what improvements are needed and how they can achieve the top rating of ‘5’. All business should be able to reach this top rating.

So no matter what you’re eating for Christmas please make sure it’s been prepared hygienically and isn’t likely to give you an upset stomach or much worse.

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