Local councils must disclose food hygiene inspections, the Information Commissioner has ruled.

Requesting environmental health reports was one of the earliest and most common requests made by journalists under the Freedom of Information Act. Most councils complied with such requests, and some even began proactively publishing the reports. But some, including the City of Westminster in central London tried to evade a request from the Guardian, arguing that disclosing the reports would sow “confusion and panic” among the public and harm tourism. [ADDED 10.1.2006]