Glasgow restaurants' food hygiene reports to be made publicly available

Glasgow City Council is proposing to allow access, through its web site, to the city’s food hygiene and food standards inspection reports from 25 August 2005. This is in response to public demand, boosted by the Freedom of Information Act which has led to considerable massive interest in inspection reports which, until now, were kept secret.

The city council's website will publish the once-confidential inspection reports on hygiene and food safety standards, allowing diners to check on cleanliness, cooking methods, staff training and equipment maintenance. Over 5000 food outlets – from staff canteens to schools and five-star hotels – will face the prospect of full public scrutiny. No advice will be offered with the reports, in contrast to Highland Council, which has posted inspections on its website since April 1.In an advisory note, Highland states that the reports are a snapshot of the day of inspection, and may not be representative of overall, long-term standards of premises.

Julia Clark, Scottish spokeswoman for the Consumers' Association magazine Which?, said:

"These hygiene reports are going to make a lot of difference and really help to drive down the instances of food poisoning. We have been campaigning for quite a long time for food premises to publish their hygiene reports and with the freedom of information legislation, members of the public can finally see how clean there local restaurant is. It is great news all round. Well done Glasgow for doing it."

Alan Tomkins - owner of Glasgow restaurants Gamba, Papingo, and Cafe Ostra and former former chairman of Glasgow Restaurateurs Association - said: "I welcome this with open arms. [...] It will help put pressure on all operators to ensure they are delivering the best health and safety standards."

In New York, where online access to reports originated, the number of restaurants now judged to be "perfect" on inspectors' first visits has doubled.

The reports will be available at and each report will consist of a copy of the actual Inspection Report sent to the operator of the premises. To begin with, premises will be listed by name however, work is continuing the new system which will eventually allow the public to use search facilities and the Council’s online mapping system to locate the chosen venue.

Restaurant inspection reports to go online this week (The Herald, 19 August 2005)
City restaurants' hygiene records go online for diners (Evening Times, 19 August 2005)
Glasgow Food Hygiene reports to go online (Glasgow City Council website, 19 August 2005)

See also: Cooking up a storm - The public can now ask for the results of restaurant food safety inspections. But are councils keen to comply? (Rob Evans, The Guardian, 3 August 2005) - "The Freedom of Information Act is beginning to break open the previously closed world of restaurant inspections. The public can now ask for reports of inspections of individual restaurants."
Restaurants' hygiene ratings to go on net (Caterer & Hotelkeeper, website, 16 August 2005) - Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, said: "People need to know restaurants and take-aways are meeting the highest hygiene standards, when they were inspected, what was found and what remedial action was taken. Publication provides an additional incentive for outlets to ensure their kitchens are up to scratch."