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‘One in seven takeaways’ fail food hygiene testing

More than 7,000 takeaways and 8,000 restaurants have failed inspections

Harriet Agerholm
Saturday 24 September 2016 13:59 BST
Premises in England and Scotland are not required to display their food safety ranking
Premises in England and Scotland are not required to display their food safety ranking (Getty)

One in seven takeaways in the UK have failed food hygiene inspections, according to new analysis of data from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Inspectors found wild variations in hygiene standards across the country. Some local authorities had failed one in five food establishments and more than half of takeaways, while others failed only a few.

Nationwide, more than 7,000 takeaways and 8,000 restaurants failed their inspections because they were dirty or had poor procedures for preparing food.

This equates to one in every seven takeaways and one in 13 UK restaurants, The Guardian reports.

Areas with the most sub-par restaurants are in Hyndburn, Lancashire and in Harrow, Islington and Newham in London.

More than half of takeaways in Newham failed their food standards inspections.

In Scotland, which uses a different food standards system to the rest of the UK, Edinburgh and the Shetland Islands had the highest proportion of restaurants that did not meet standards..

Areas that came out top – with the biggest proportion of businesses with the best food standards – include Harrogate in Yorkshire, Daventry in Northamptonshire and West Dorset.

Of 460,000 FSA reports on UK businesses, 6.4 per cent or 30,000 had failed their inspections.

Those restaurants given a zero score – the worst rated under the system – will not necessarily be shut down but instead are subjected to a follow-up visit within a month

Premises serving food are not required to publicly display their food safety ranking in most of the UK. But in 2013, Wales made the practice compulsory a change thought to have greatly improved hygiene standards.

From 7 October premises in Northern Ireland will also have to put their ratings on show.

Some London restaurants have been reported to display inaccurate FSA ratings.

One FSA spokesperson told ITV news they were building a case for the Government to change the law to make displaying the true rating compulsory.

One of the worst offenders surveyed by inspectors was the Babylon Inn, in Croydon, south London. Last December broken glass was found in food preparation areas and evidence was found of rats, mice and cockroaches. The owners were fined £90,000.

In 2010, a Chinese takeaway in Essex was ordered to close after two live mice were discovered in a box of noodles.

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