Restaurants, pubs and cafés across the UK could be required to display their hygiene inspection results, after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced plans to launch its Scores on the Doors scheme nationally. The FSA is looking to introduce a UK-wide initiative to replace the nearly 200 existing local authority schemes, with customers able to check a premises’ ratings on a website. Under the proposals, which have been put to consultation, the scoring system would be based either on a four-tiered method with outlets getting a pass rating of up to three stars or a fail, or alternatively a certificate indicating a pass or improvement required message. The organisation is initially recommending a voluntary approach to displaying the scores, while local authorities in London, who operate their own schemes, already have a bill before parliament which would enforce the system. Trade bodies have, however, criticised the plans, saying that they will put a further burden on the industry due to extra red tape and could be misinterpreted by consumers as relating to food quality rather than hygiene standards. Martin Rawlings, director of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “In a nutshell, it’s over-complicated and it gives the wrong messages. Premises are either compliant with legislation or they’re not — having a tiered system is bizarre. “The media and public will mistake stars for quality — we’ve already seen it in places where the scheme is being trialled. It will also penalise new operators moving into premises with poor ratings.” Nick Bish, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, said: “There’s going to be consumer confusion. It’s more bureaucracy and it’s unnecessary. Like any inspection it’s a snapshot in time — it only certifies that the premises was OK or not OK at a given moment.”