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CUSTOMERS will be better informed when eating out thanks to the introduction of a new scheme.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme will be brought in across Chichester from April 1.

It will tell customers about the hygiene standards of all local food outlets.

Ten authorities across East and West Sussex made a successful bid for £65,000 from the Food Standards Agency to introduce the scheme. Brighton and Crawley are already operating similar systems.

This national scheme, developed by the FSA and local authorities, provides information on food hygiene standards. It will help customers choose where to eat out, or shop for food.

‘Food outlets, such as restaurants, takeaways and pubs, are inspected by our environmental health officers to check that their hygiene standards meet the legal requirements,’ said Councillor Heather Caird, the deputy leader of Chichester District Council.

‘The hygiene standards found at these inspections are rated on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom, which means urgent improvement necessary, to a top rating of five.

‘Generally, hygiene standards locally are good. However, this scheme will help better inform residents and visitors and will drive up standards even higher.’