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Written Statement - Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Regulations 2013

Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services

The draft Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations”) have been published for consultation today.

The Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 received Royal Assent on 4 March 2013. The Welsh Ministers now have the power to require food businesses to be rated on their food hygiene standards and to display this rating where it can be easily seen by customers, such as at the entrance to their premises. This will help to ensure customers have easy to understand information on the hygiene standards of a food business before they decide to buy food. This is vitally important as it will provide consumers with the power to make better choices about where to eat or shop for food. I also consider this customer power will drive up the food hygiene standards of individual food businesses across Wales. I am committed to making this legislation as comprehensive as it can be for consumers yet workable both for food businesses and the food authorities who will be enforcing it.

It is my intention to commence most provisions of the Act during November 2013. However, before the Act can be fully implemented, it will be necessary to make Regulations dealing with matters of detail that are not dealt with on the face of the Act.  These include the form of the food hygiene rating sticker and how it must be displayed at different types of food businesses. These Regulations have today been published in draft in order to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to comment upon them.

The consultation period on the draft Regulations will end on 21 June 2013.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed.  Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.