A café in Islington, north London has been prosecuted under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, after exaggerating its food hygiene rating.
Veli’s Café – situated at 60 Drayton Park, London N5 – claimed that it had a top food hygiene rating of 5, when its actual rating was 1.
A 5 rating means “very good”, while a rating of 1 means “much improvement necessary”.
A Trading Standards officer from Islington Council found the café was displaying two 5 food hygiene rating stickers on its front door and a 5 certificate.
The café had previously been rated 5 for food hygiene, but was downgraded to 1 in July 2015 – since October 2016, it has had a rating of 3.
At Highbury Magistrates’ Court, Kinal Ltd – trading as Veli’s Café – was fined £1,500 for two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
The café was also ordered to pay costs of £896 and a victim surcharge of £75 – a total of £2,471.
Following the case, Islington Council is urging other food businesses to check they are displaying the right food hygiene ratings, to make sure members of the public are not misled.
Islington Council’s Executive Member for finance, community safety and performance, Councillor Andy Hull, said:
“It’s important residents and visitors know where they can expect good food hygiene – and have confidence in the food hygiene rating system.
“We urge businesses to make sure they are displaying the correct food hygiene rating – we will take action where the rating displayed is higher than a business’s actual rating.
“If businesses are not sure how food hygiene ratings work, or what they need to do, they can look at the Food Standards Agency website for help and advice – or contact our Environmental Health commercial team.”
It is not compulsory for businesses to display food hygiene ratings, although Islington Council and the Food Standards Agency encourage businesses to display them so customers are kept informed.
However, displaying a rating that is higher than a business’s actual rating can lead to prosecution.
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