Eating out? How to check your restaurant’s rating before you go.Most people like to eat out, as it means not only do you not have to cook but it is a change of scenery, a chance to catch up with friends as well as offering a relaxed evening out.

However, the one thing you want to guarantee is that the food is better than you would cook yourself and the restaurant is clean, uses the best ingredients and the food provided is safe to consume.

There are two easy ways to check the Food Hygiene Rating which is offered by the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).

The first is the easiest, and this is to check the rating sticker which the establishment places on their front door.

While it is not a legal requirement to display this sticker the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommend it is displayed in a prominent place so with most establishments you will not need to ask.

The highest rating is 5, which means the hygiene standards are very good, and the lowest is 0, where urgent improvement is necessary.

If it is not convenient to visit the restaurant in person then the rating can be checked on the Food Standards Agency website. All you need is the name of the restaurant and part of their address.

This will pull up a record of their rating, the date of the last inspection, as well as details of the business itself.

The record will also break down the standards of hygienic food handling, cleanliness and condition of facilities and building, as well as management of food safety.

Alternatively you can check the Scores on the Doors website, which does the same as the FSA website, but additionally has links to Trip Advisor reviews meaning you can check customer reviews as well – a ratings score doesn’t tell you about service, atmosphere, or taste.

This simple internet check will give you the peace of mind that you, your family and friends will be safe and healthy and will enjoy a pleasant, hygienic meal.