NEW food hygiene figures might make you think twice before ringing for a takeaway.

Ratings for Chester’s takeaway food premises from, a web-based compilation of food hygiene ratings, show that just two of the city’s 92 business providing takeaway foods, were given the top grade.

Only Harvey’s sandwich and espresso shop, Bridge Street and Subway sandwiches, Foregate Street, were given a five star rating.

Harvey’s Bridge Street owner Stuart Birnie said: “We are very pleased to be highly assessed in that way and we would hope to keep up our commitment to maintain that score.”

The ratings are based on food hygiene factors which businesses have direct control over – confidence in management, hygiene and safety and structure ratings.

City council food safety manager Mark Green said: “It’s based on the official code of practice issued by central Government, the Food Standards Agency.

“The vast majority of our premises are two, three or four, it’s only a small number which are zero. If there was a risk we would close them.

“When we do an inspection we do so unannounced it’s based on the condition we find at the time, so those that have scored low may well have rectified the problems. We’ll take action and work with the businesses to remedy whatever is wrong.”

Hygiene and safety looks at staff procedures, cross contamination and personal hygiene. Structural ratings looks at the condition of the building, equipment and facilities and confidence in management looks at the food safety management system.

These factors are then totalled to give an over all ‘star rating’ out of five allowing for real comparisons between different business, for example, schools, hospitals and takeaways.

Scores on the doors is a free service and more than 10,000 people have viewed the Chester city council ratings.