Environmental Health Officers can close businesses if they feel there is an imminent risk to health.
Scores on the doors is a powerful system. Consumers have a lot of confidence in a 5-star rating, though they should be aware that the rating was at a point in time.
Environmental Health Officers may inspect a business one year but by the next year the owner may have changed. The Council spends time with the owners of food businesses helping them understand and improve food hygiene. The City Council may not know if a business has changed hands.
Anju Dhir is an Environmental Health Officer with Birmingham City Council she told Food Futures that we can be proud of our food safety legislation but she would like to be able to set conditions before businesses are licensed with compulsory training for staff.
Also pointed out that there are businesses with 0 or 1 star rating. Those businesses don’t put their “scores on the doors”. In Wales businesses are obliged to display their star rating. In England it remains optional.