The publication of results from food safety inspections in the food industry (restaurants, cafeterias, slaughterhouses, etc.) is a legitimate expectation of citizens that adds to consumer confidence in the food industry. Initially proposed by law in 2014, this measure is part of the evolution toward greater transparency on the part of the government.
A decree published last month intends to broaden a pilot program for restaurants launched in the 2 cities of Paris and Avignon (south of France) to make increased transparency about food safety inspection results more widespread in France. Publication of all food safety inspections from March 1, 2017, and after will be made public on a new website, alim-confiance.gouv.fr beginning in April.
In order to make the data more readily available to a widespread public audience, the results will be displayed on an interactive map of France, allowing users to search for establishments by name or address. The users may also filter by category of establishment or simply explore the map.
The data shown will include the name of the establishment, the date of the last inspection, and the level of hygiene found. For slaughterhouses, it will be about the level of sanitary management and knowledge since the result of the inspection also concerns the respect of standards for animal welfare.
The inspection results will be available for a period of one year after the date of the inspection. The level of hygiene of the establishments will also be accessible by typing in the approval number of the establishment.
This same information tool will also be accessible via the smartphone app “Alim’confiance,” which works on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
The hygiene levels will be described using easy-to-understand labels that are designed to rapidly give an idea of the level of hygiene of the establishment to members of the public. These will include:
Very satisfying level of hygiene: For establishments presenting no noncompliance, or only minor noncompliance.
Satisfying level: Establishments presenting no noncompliance that justifies action from the food safety inspection service, but that require the administrative authorities to send a letter reminding of the regulations in order to improve practices.
Needs improvement: Establishments which were given formal notice to take correctives measures in a specific timeline decided upon by the administrative authorities and which calls for a second health inspection to check that these measures were taken.
Correct in an urgent manner: Establishments that present noncompliance which could put the safety of the consumer in danger, and for which the administrative authorities may order the closure of the establishment, or suspend their health license.