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February 12, 2008 12:00 AM

The Lib-Dem run council has launched a star rating scheme for the local food industry which will drive up hygiene standards across Newcastle.

Under the new Scores on the Doors scheme every food outlet in the city - from hospital kitchens to the poshest restaurants - will be rated according to their cleanliness and hygiene.

Scores will range from five stars (excellent) to zero (very poor) and businesses will be encouraged to display their scores.

Businesses with low ratings will continue to get support and advice from the council's team of food safety experts on how they can improve standards.

The ratings follow inspections from the council's environmental health team who visit more than 1,200 businesses across the city every year.