Scores on the doors should be mandatory practice

Lidl’s scored a victory but it’s a big loss for industry

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It almost feels like another week and another restaurant in Portsmouth is getting fined thousands of pounds for breaching health and safety or hygiene rules.

Today we take no pleasure in bringing you the latest in a long line of such stories as we report on how Good Fortune, a Chinese restaurant in High Street, Portsmouth, has been fined £4,000.

How many of us have winced as we’ve read about one of our favourite restaurants or takeaways indulging in some decidedly unhygienic practices?

But a live lobster in a washing up bowl is a new one on us.

The Food Standards Agency has been running a scheme for some years called Scores On The Doors.

All food-related establishments get given a score out of five – you’ve probably seen the green certificates on the doors of some restaurants or takeaways, proudly announcing a score of four or five.

Check out the website scoresonthedoors.org.uk, where there is a vast searchable database that will tell you when places were last inspected and how they scored.

A quick search reveals that, of the 1,189 establishments listed for Portsmouth, five scored 0 and a further 20 scored just one out of five.

While the site tells us that the majority score well, some clearly do not.

The scores are all available online, but posting the scores physically in the actual establishment is voluntary.

If you can’t see the scores on the doors, maybe you should be asking yourself – or the business – why that is the case.

Perhaps it should become mandatory for establishments to post their results in a highly visible place.

And then maybe we would see less cases like this as restaurants, literally, clean up their act to keep their customers.