Cleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 23rd March 2023 Issue no. 1057
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Grotspots and hotspots! Is your nearest city on the filthiest food establishment list?
Feeling peckish? That's the perfect excuse for a trip to a restaurant or an order from a takeaway, but will you risk your health when you sit down to dine?
Direct365, an essential services provider that works closely with businesses serving menus of all types, from fast food to pub grub to haute cuisine, has recently been investigating the nation's food hygiene geography.
Turning to the Food Standards Agency's food hygiene rating API for authoritative data on this vital subject, Direct365 focused on the 45 most populated cities and towns in England and Wales, analysing the information to determine which places have the highest percentage of zero, one and two-star food outlets, and which locations have the highest percentage of three, four and five-star rated restaurants.
The Food Standards Agency rates food businesses as follows:
0. Urgent improvement needed - Includes serious food hygiene breaches and no record of safety systems. People's health is at risk.
1. Major improvements needed - Several food hygiene breaches and lack of staff training.
2. Improvement necessary - Some concerns around handling practices. Facilities need to change quickly.
3. Generally satisfactory, with no immediate threat to health. Practices for maintaining safety standards are good, but there's still room for improvement.
4. Good - The business has good food hygiene practices and safety systems in place, but there are a few minor areas for improvement.
5. Very good - Excellent hygiene practices and safety systems in place.
Ipswich topped the rankings for having the best food hygiene ratings across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, followed by Southampton and Crawley. On the other end of the scale though was Birmingham, where 11% of food establishments scored two-stars or less in the FSA's food hygiene ratings.
What to make of these findings? If you run a food business in any of the ‘grotspots’, the simplest advice is to stand out from the crowd. Make it very clear that your hygiene is excellent. Secure your five-star rating and display it prominently on the premises.
"If you're fortunate enough to be in one of the highest-ranking towns for excellent food hygiene, be aware that standards are much higher than average,” says Karl Bantleman, head of digital at Direct365. “You can't be competitive without your own four- or five-star rating.
"There are a few simple things food establishments can do to improve their rating, including storing food properly, good record keeping, using the right cleaning products and managing waste properly."
Direct365 provides essential business services and products to thousands of businesses across the UK, ranging from baby changing facilities to waste collection. It provides small businesses with the products and services they need to run smoothly, legally, safely and professionally.
4th August 2022