New food safety hygiene inspections pose the biggest threat to retailers’ businesses over the coming months, the NFRN has warned.

Margaret McCloskey, the NFRN’s head of operations, said 15 retailers scored 0 or 1 following inspections in August and September with 10 in Northern Ireland being prominent symbol stores.

She warned Wales is now forcing retailers and outlets to display stickers in their windows showing their scores with Northern Ireland to follow in October next year, while parts of England are voluntarily displaying their scores.

The inspections focus on three key elements – confidence in management, food hygiene and safety and structure and cleanliness.

Ms McCloskey said: “Retailers are facing increasing pressure with the auto pension enrolment, cuts in commission, and the National Living Wage.

“But the public being aware of the outcome of their food hygiene inspections is going to be the biggest threat to their business in the coming months when the food hygiene window stickers have to be displayed mandatorily.

“The NFRN believes most of its members will fully understand their statutory obligations when retailing high risk open food produce, but encourages them to communicate with the Food Safety Authority should they need advice.”