On July 26, 2013, FDA issued proposed regulations that would greatly strengthen the oversight of foods imported for U.S. consumers. Under the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) regulations, importers would be required to perform certain risk-based activities to verify that food imported into the United States has been produced in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection as that required of domestic food producers. The FSVP regulations would implement section 301 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and is no doubt one of the most popular times of the year for restaurants. As it lands on a Saturday this year more couples than ever will be planning on hitting the town for a romantic meal for two. In fact, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) confirmed that 77% of couples will be eating out this V Day. With this in mind, the FSA has launched a campaign urging people to check the hygiene standards of restaurants before booking a table. It’s packed full of useful information designed to help couples make informed decisions and enjoy a delicious meal that’s safe and hygienically prepared.
You can’t know a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy their staff look or by the romantic ambience. Choosing a restaurant with low standards could soon equal a dating disaster – a rat running around the restaurant or a bout of food poisoning can rapidly end any romantic atmosphere.
So what does the campaign encompass? One of our favourite elements is a video featuring Made in Chelsea heartthrob, Hugo Taylor. He reveals his top tips on how to choose a restaurant that’s guaranteed to make your lover swoon. The first step? If you can’t see a green or black food hygiene rating sticker in the window Hugo suggests asking staff or heading to food.gov.uk/ratings. As for how to charm the pants off a date, Hugo maintains that gents should be assertive, pre-inform their Valentine where they’re going, confirm dress codes, refrain from ordering messy foods, turn off mobile phones, and finally, be yourself!
A series of animated videos explain how food hygiene ratings work and how to maximise the Food Standards Agency ratings website. Watch the England and Northern Ireland video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLbhpNzEoiQ and the Wales specific video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yvzb-OZlPk. Considering that 36% of daters admitted they’re concerned about falling victim to food poisoning the videos are a valuable resource.
For those on the search for quick, concise and colourful information the FSA has also compacted key information into two engaging infographics. The pieces offer insightful information on what the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme covers and how it can be used to gauge how hygienically a restaurant’s meals are prepared. With over 90% of UK eateries having a rating between 3 to 5, any lower would be selling a date seriously short.
Take a look at the infographics by visiting the FSA Pinterest page.
Brits are also being encouraged to engage with the FSA using a myriad of social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Vine.
At the core of the FSA campaign is a mission to remind people that no matter where they’re planning on eating out this Valentine’s Day, it always pays to ‘look before you book.’ With more emphasis on hygiene standards and viral campaigns such as this, standards in eating establishments should continue to rise throughout the nation.
Happy Valentine’s Day!