Doubt cast over food safety ruling

15 Jan 2014

Local authorities should be doing more to ensure certain businesses comply with food safety rules, according to a new report by Which?

The consumer watchdog did research into the number of food businesses around the country which are abiding by hygiene rules but found that in the worst performing areas, more than a third of businesses are not sticking to the rules. Meanwhile Which? described things like checking the accuracy of food labels as "patchy".

According to the research, six London councils are in the bottom 10 poorest performing local authorities in the country, with Bexley in south east London the worst. The research analysed premises such as hospitals, care homes, restaurants, takeaways, retailers and food suppliers.

The Which? report, which used data submitted to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) by local authorities, is bound to cast fresh doubts over the safety of the food industry following on from last year's horsemeat scandal.

The best performing local authority in the list of 395 in the UK was Cherwell District Council in north Oxfordshire.

Researchers used three factors when compiling the list: the proportion of high or medium-risk premises that were "broadly compliant" with food hygiene requirements, the percentage of businesses that had been handed out a risk rating and the proportion of inspections and other follow-ups required that were actually carried out.

Copyright Press Association 2014

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