Residents and visitors to the city will be able to get extra help to decide where to eat after Wolverhampton City Council signed up to a national ratings system.

The authority has signed up to the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme that will give people information about standards in venues such as restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.

Like the council's previous 'Scores on the Doors' system, the scheme will help people choose where to eat out or shop for food.

Information will be provided on hygiene standards in all food premises at the time they are inspected to reflect how well they meet legal requirements.

These requirements include how the food is handled and prepared, the condition of the premises and how the business operators manage hygiene to ensure suitable standards are maintained.

The new ratings system, which the council is running in partnership with the Government's Food Standards Agency, will complement a transformation of the council's food hygiene service.

Officers now work much more closely with food business operators, with the emphasis being placed on supporting traders and working with them to meet necessary requirements, rather than focusing on contraventions, before a rating is given.

Councillor John Reynolds, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for City Services, said: "We are delighted to launch our new food rating system.

"This will help residents and visitors to the City make informed choices about where they go to eat or purchase food and give them a reassurance that the businesses meet the required hygiene standards.

"By working together with the businesses, we are helping to ensure that they meet the necessary standards that are required and giving their customers the confidence that the food they are buying is safe."

"The transformation of our food hygiene service has been a great success and we are getting very positive feedback from local food businesses."

Mohammed Rafiq, co-owner of The Shabab Balti restaurant in Chapel Ash, said: "The new rating system will help people from Wolverhampton and outside the city make informed choices about where they want to eat.

"We work very hard to meet the required food safety standards and it's great to have a system that recognises all our efforts."

released: Friday 20 September, 2013