Restaurants with low hygiene ratings should be made to display their scores to customers to force them to improve, a Dudley councillor has said.
Cllr Adam Aston is calling on Dudley Council to support a campaign to change the law which would make the display of Food Standards Agency ratings compulsory.
The move would bring England into line with Welsh and Northern Ireland laws.
The Upper Gornal and Woodsetton ward councillor was speaking as the local authority discussed a report on its Food and Feed Service Plan for the coming year.
Councillors were told 983 food outlets had been inspected by council officers on behalf of the Food Standards Agency during 2017.
Businesses are rated from zero to five for their food hygiene and after inspections they are given a sticker which they can choose to show at the entrance to their premises.
Cllr Aston said that although the ratings were available on the Food Standards Agency’s website, only high scoring food outlets displayed them to the public.
Asking Ruth Buttery, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, to write to the Health Secretary supporting the Local Government Association’s campaign, he said: “The health impact of unsafe food can be life changing and potentially life ending, particularly for the very young, the very old or those with chronic conditions.
“I was surprised to learn that whilst there is a legal requirement for food establishments in Wales and Northern Ireland to physically display their hygiene ratings, there is no such requirement in England.
“Consequently it is only restaurants, cafes and pubs that have scored four or five who actually display them.”
He added: “Displaying ratings would undoubtedly push up food standards, improve consumer confidence and ultimately save public money by reducing the need for enforcement action.”
Asking for more details of the campaign Cllr Buttery replied that over 99 percent of high risk food premises in Dudley had been inspected by council officers.