Food safety standards are currently being examined at eating establishments in Chelmsford, which are being given star ratings based on the inspectors' findings as part of a new scheme.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) wants eateries to understand that such ratings awarded for food hygiene will boost their reputations in the area.
Head of the food hygiene rating team at the FSA Catriona Stewart was pleased to see Chelmsford Council had taken to the new idea and stressed that her organisation wants many more local authorities to sign up.
"About one million people suffer from food poisoning every year, and our aim is to reduce this as a result of the scheme," she added.
From last week, bars, restaurants, takeaways and cafes in Chelmsford are being inspected and will be awarded a rating out of five for their performance, one being poor and five excellent.
Around 150,000 premises are listed on the new scheme and 124 councils have so far contributed.