STAFFORD is in the top 25 authorities for its record on enforcing food safety rules, a new study has revealed.
The borough council was ranked 24 out of 395 authorities nationwide, following research by consumer association Which?.
The study, produced in the wake of the horsemeat scandal last year when some supermarket products were found to contain horsemeat, looked at how well authorities maintained food hygiene standards and tackled food fraud.
Which? rated each council on the percentage of high and medium-risk food businesses in the area that were compliant with food hygiene requirements, the percentage that had opened but not yet been visited and given a risk rating and the proportion of inspections and other follow-ups required but not carried out by inspectors.
Stafford was ranked second in the West Midlands behind Herefordshire, which was 16th.
Councillor Frank Finlay, cabinet member for environment and health, said: "The health and wellbeing of our community is one of our top priorities, and one way we can help protect our residents and visitors who come to Stafford Borough, is by ensuring our eating out places have good hygiene standards.
"We want these food outlets to succeed as they are important to the economy and future prosperity of the borough."
South Staffordshire Council was ranked 83rd and Cannock Chase was 85th.
Walsall was the lowest ranked Midlands authority at 362, while neighbouring authority Stoke-on-Trent was ranked 324.