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New hygiene ratings rules for takeaways

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takeawayNEW rules come into force on Monday (Nov 28) requiring takeaway food businesses to promote their food hygiene ratings on leaflets and menus which enable customers to order by phone or online.
 
On Monday it will be exactly three years since Wales became the first country in the UK to create a statutory food hygiene rating scheme. The Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 made it compulsory for all food businesses – such as restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels and supermarkets – to publicly display their food hygiene rating at their premises.
 
The scheme has proven extremely successful in driving up hygiene standards. Latest figures show that over 94% of food businesses in Wales now have a generally satisfactory rating or higher (3 or above), with 62.5% of Welsh food businesses having the highest 5 rating (Very Good).
In comparison, just prior to the legislation coming into force in November 2013, 87% of Welsh food businesses had a rating of 3 or above and the number of businesses with a 5 rating was 45%.
 
From today, if a takeaway leaflet or menu shows food for sale, the price and a way of ordering the food without visiting the premises, it will also have to include a bilingual statement encouraging customers to check the food hygiene rating of the business on the food hygiene ratings website. The statement will also remind customers that they have a legal right to ask the food business for their food hygiene rating when they order over the phone.
 
The legislation also enables food businesses to voluntarily display their valid food hygiene rating on this type of publicity material, but if they do so the rating must be valid and in the specified format so it can be clearly seen.
Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, said:
“The food hygiene scheme has been one of the great success stories of made-in-Wales legislation. It has been key to driving up standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes and other food businesses  across Wales.
“I am delighted that since the start of the scheme, 7% more food businesses now have a satisfactory rating or higher, and 17.5% more businesses now boast the maximum 5 rating. This progress is something everybody involved in the scheme, including food businesses, should be very proud of.
 
“The new rules coming into force today are designed to offer extra protection to customers ordering food over the phone, or online, who will not have the opportunity to see the rating physically displayed in the premises before ordering. The display of the statement on leaflets will encourage consumers to view the rating online and to ask the takeaway food business for their food hygiene rating over the phone before ordering.”
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Another man charged in Ifan Owens assault case

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Ifan Owens: Seriously assaulted in January

ANOTHER man has been charged and remanded into custody in relation to the serious assault of Ifan Owens, aged 19, in Aberystwyth on January 14.

Michael Arwyn Jones, 24, has been charged with S18 Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent and Possession of Cannabis.

Last week, Billy Valentine, 19, of Terrace Road, Aberystwyth, and David Lloyd, 25, of no fixed abode, entered no pleas when they appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court.

The pair were sent to trial at Swansea Crown Court on May 11 at 10am.

Due to the serious nature of the offence, Lloyd’s bail was revoked.

The court found there was a real risk he would abscond or re-offend.

As well as being charged with grievous bodily harm, he was also charged with having a blade exceeding 3 inches in a public place without good reason or lawful authority.

Valentine was also charged with being in possession of herbal cannabis as the time of his arrest. This was by Magistrates, who gave him a 12 month conditional discharge, and ordered him to pay £20 to fund the victims of crime, and £85 to the Crown Prosecution Service.

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Consultation to launch today on future of health services in Ceredigion

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HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD are formally announcing the launch of their consultation at County Hall in Haverfordwest this morning (Apr 19).

The proposals, the Board say, will shape the future provision of health and care services to the general population.

These provisions will be ‘safe, viable and offer an improvement to what is currently provided’.

The Herald will be attending the event, which starts at 9:30am.

You can watch a live stream here.

The 12-week consultation, which is clinically-led, will involve a number of events for communities, both general and targeted, as well as an awareness raising campaign.

It is expected that the announcements will have big changes for Withbyush, Glangwili, Prince Philip and Bronglais hospitals.

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Issue of lifeboats raised to Prime Minister

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BEN LAKE MP made his Prime Minister’s Questions debut, raising the important issue of the future of Cardigan Bay’s lifeboat provision.

On Thursday (Apr 18) Mr Lake commended the valiant efforts of RNLI staff and volunteers at New Quay lifeboat station who have been safeguarding those who venture out into the bay, be it for work or pleasure, since 1864.

He also expressed concern at the possibility that there will no longer be an all-weather lifeboat in Ceredigion from 2020.

Mr Lake asked the Prime Minister whether she would agree ‘that the invaluable work of the RNLI serves as a fourth emergency service, and that as such it is essential the coastline of Ceredigion, like every other populated coastline, has access to this service whatever the weather?’

The Prime Minister responded: “Search and rescue at sea is provided by several organisations, including the coastguard and the RNLI. The RNLI has a proud tradition, and we should be grateful for its record on search and rescue at sea. It is obviously independent and decides where best to put its resources, but we are supporting the work of independent lifeboat charities through our Rescue Boat Grant Fund, which has allocated more than £3.5 million since 2014 to increase capacity and resilience by providing new boats and equipment.”

Ben Lake said: “I was glad of the opportunity to raise an issue that is of great concern to communities across Ceredigion with the Prime Minister. I look forward to working with the RNLI and campaign representatives in search of a long-term solution, and in particular seek to ascertain whether the Rescue Boat Grant Fund could be of benefit to ensuring the retention of an all-weather lifeboat at New Quay.”

The RNLI has decided to downgrade New Quay Lifeboat Station to an Inshore Lifeboat when the service life of its Mersey-class All-Weather Lifeboat expires in 2020.

The proposed new lifeboat will not be able to launch in conditions exceeding Force 7 in the daytime or Force 6 at night.

After 2020, there will be no All-Weather Lifeboats in the whole of Ceredigion, leaving a gap of 70 miles between the All-Weather stations of Barmouth and Fishguard.

The latest generation of All-Weather Lifeboats can travel at 25 knots in 30 minutes in calm conditions. In a challenging sea, the nearest boats at Barmouth and Fishguard would take more than an hour and a half to respond to an emergency off New Quay or Aberaeron.

The mission statement of the RNLI reads: “Our crews aim to launch their lifeboats with 10 minutes of being notified and can operate up to 100 nautical miles out at sea. We aim to reach at least 90% of all casualties within 10 nautical miles of the coast within 30 minutes of a lifeboat launch – any weather.”

The Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign are questioning how local rescues can take place in a challenging sea to meet this aim of the RNLI. Over 10,000 have currently signed a petition campaigning against the proposed changes.

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