HYNDBURN residents have been urged to eat out for Valentine’s Day, and the council has urged sweethearts to choose their restaurants by their level of cleanliness.

Inspections are regularly carried out in the borough, and 479 eateries have a ‘scores on the door’ rating of three stars or more.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rates food businesses on their hygiene standards, on a scale ranging from 0, which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’, to a top rating of 5 which is ‘very good’.

Deputy Hyndburn Council leader, Coun Clare Pritchard, said: “Valentine’s Day is a busy time for our local restaurants, cafes and pubs.

“And with the majority of food businesses in the Hyndburn area rated three or above, the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme makes it easier for everyone to choose to eat their romantic meals in places where food hygiene is taken seriously.”

Head of the food hygiene ratings team at the Food Standards Agency, Catriona Stewart, added: “The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a great tool when choosing where to eat out, particularly when celebrating a special meal, because it tells you what’s going in the kitchen and behind the scenes.

“For local eateries, a good rating will be good for business during this busy time season.”

Restaurants and takeaways in the borough don’t have to display their rating, but they can be checked online at www.food.gov.uk/ratings.