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Kurt Barlow

How Dirty Is Your Local Restuarant?

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This is the norm in many parts of the US. I had the pleasure of living in SoCal for a while, and it was enormously refreshing to see official hygeine ratings prominently displayed on the doors of restaurants. I am not sure if it was voluntary to display them or not, but I never saw anything other than A+ certificates.

Bear in mind though, that a single case of food poisoning would result in enough legal action to close you down for good, so in the long run, it was better to have high standards anyway.

I think it would be a great idea.

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In Norwich all the inspections ratings are available on the internet. The original problem was that they weren't updating it, so resataurants that had made an effort weren't getting the recognition - that's fixed now, and makes interesting reading, as it includes the inspection summary, that specifies the problems relating to why so few stars were awarded, so you can make your own mind up! Sadly, it's not as detailed as it used to be - it used to list specific problems for the establishment to work on for the next inspection - like food storage at incorrect temperatures, not cleaning tubes etc in milkshake machines adequately/not rinsing them enough after cleaning etc, but that detail isn't there any more. :(

I love the fact it covers school canteens, posh eateries, market stalls and burger vans in the one list - I like the fact that Bs & Ts (a down market bacon butty and mug of tea stall on the market - but that's not to say it's a bad thing - they do great breakfast baguettes!) gets a better mark than the posher Cafe Bar Marzano in the Forum, at the top of the market.

Schemes like this ensure competitiveness in a really good way - the food might taste great, but if it's really grim behind the scenes, you don't really want to eat it! (Apart from, of course, the dodgy doner at the end of the night - it's always best to have that, so you have something non alcoholic to blame the hangover on!)

(On dodgy doners... the local kebab house back home is great, and their kebab pizzas are second to none. However several years ago, it was found that their mayonnaise was not just mayo... there were in fact, traces of a certain manly creaminess in there too. The sign outside displays a large doner kebab, with a couple of white grease/oil drips running down it, that are just far too graphic a reminder of what once was...)

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  • 295 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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