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Food hygiene ratings shame for restaurant and takeaways in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 14:01 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:19 20 March 2019

Lee Batchelor from the online education firm High Speed Training which carried out the study. Picture: HIGH SPEED TRAINING

Lee Batchelor from the online education firm High Speed Training which carried out the study. Picture: HIGH SPEED TRAINING

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The borough has come bottom in a capital-wide study of food hygiene ratings.

Food hygiene highs and lows in the capital. Picture: HIGH SPEED TRAININGFood hygiene highs and lows in the capital. Picture: HIGH SPEED TRAINING

Barking and Dagenham had the lowest average rating at below three and a half stars out of five among the 29 local authorities surveyed in London, according to the education firm High Speed Training.

To crunch the numbers in its report – Food Hygiene: Know the Score – the company used data for a quarter of a million food businesses across the country from the public health watchdog, the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Lee Batchelor, who led the project, said: “Our report aims to improve consumers’ understanding of the food hygiene rating scheme so they can make informed decisions around where to eat and drink.

“The ratings are based on more than just personal hygiene. There are different areas of inspection and the schemes do have their limitations. It’s just about understanding that and knowing where to get the right information.”

How a rating is made. Picture: HIGH SPEED TRAININGHow a rating is made. Picture: HIGH SPEED TRAINING

Eateries included restaurants, cafes, canteens, takeaways, sandwich shops, pubs, bars, hotels and nightclubs.

The numbers taken from the FSA focused on overall food hygiene ratings, rating components, and inspection results for food 398 establishments in the borough.

Ealing was the second worst in the capital with an average rating of 3.47 among 944 eateries. But the City of London came out on top with a 4.55 average for 1,387 food venues, according to the report.

Businesses without a current rating or inspection result were filtered out of the analysis.

After inspections, eateries are given an overall star rating from zero, the worst, up to five.

The food hygiene rating scheme is intended to give customers an idea of how well premises uphold food hygiene standards.

An environmental health officer from the local authority visits the business between every six months and two years, depending on the level of ‘risk’ the business presents.

A restaurant that constantly prepares and handles food is considered higher risk than, say, a newsagent where food is mostly pre-packaged.

The EHO conducts an inspection of an establishment to ensure the business complies with food safety regulations and gives a rating based on their findings.

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