If you have eaten out in a restaurant or cafe then you have probably seen a green certificate or sticker displaying the premises’ Food Hygiene Rating score.

Unless you have eaten out in Tendring that is, as Tendring Council is one of only a handful of local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which have not adopted the scheme.

This means people who eat out in Tendring do not know whether a cafe or restaurant performed well in its last visit from hygiene inspectors.

The food hygiene rating scheme is a national scheme developed by the Food Standards Agency which rates food outlets from zero (requires urgent improvement) to five (very good).

These ratings are then publicised online at food.gov.uk/ratings, on a free mobile phone app and can be displayed in the premises on a green sticker or certificate.

But some proprietors said they are glad the scheme has not been rolled out across the district as it would bring unwanted levels of bureaucracy.

Nick May, innkeeper at the Alma Inn, in Harwich said: “Obviously standards of hygiene need to be upheld but it is a lot of money and bureaucracy that is going on in the checking of premises.

“It should just be either a pass or a fail.

“We do not want everybody poisoned so we award marks to someone who is very good but we should be very good as a matter of course.

But Ray Dowsett, who runs Harry’s Bar and Restaurant in Thorpe-le-Soken, said he would back the scheme saying a good rating could give the edge over competitors.

He said: “It would also help people choose when looking for places as well."