Standards of food hygiene in the UK have been described by the executive director of Which? as an “unacceptable postcode lottery”, after the consumer watchdog carried out an investigation of food outlets across the country.
Using Food Standards Agency (FSA) hygiene ratings throughout the UK, the investigation found that there were wide variations between different areas. The south east London borough of Bexley was one of the worst of more than 2,000 postcodes for food hygiene, as six of its postcodes made it into the top 10 for the lowest food safety standards in the UK.
However, over in Birmingham, in the B35 area, the news is much more positive. None of the food outlets inspected by the FSA recently scored below a rating of “generally satisfactory”, compared to Bexley where nearly half of its restaurants and cafes rated lower than “generally satisfactory”.
The results of the Which? investigation suggest that a number of improvements need to be made, starting with improving food hygiene training for all staff working in UK food outlets. Executive director for the consumer watchdog, Richard Lloyd, also said:
“We want everywhere that serves food to the public to display their hygiene score prominently so people can make an informed choice.”