BBC report: How can you tell the restaurant you’re eating in is clean?

The BBC have recently completed an investigation and accompanying news article: ‘How can you tell the restaurant you’re eating in is clean?

An extract appears below:

‘When you go into a restaurant or a takeaway, you might spot a bright green sticker on the door or the window telling you its food hygiene rating.

It’s a very helpful steer on whether or not the standards inside are up to scratch – or at least it should be. But in fact – though you might have assumed otherwise – restaurants are not obliged to display their rating in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In other words, any place that scored particularly badly doesn’t have to tell you about it. So short of actually poking your head into the kitchen, how can you tell if a restaurant is clean as a whistle – or no such thing?

Anywhere serving food – from the poshest restaurants, to burger vans, and everything in between – is subject to on-the-spot checks by environmental health officers, with the best standards rewarded with a maximum rating of five.

All scores are available online, on the website of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) [Food Standards Hygiene Ratings]. But that’s little use if you’re choosing where to eat on the hoof and don’t have a smartphone to hand – when being able to see a restaurant or cafe’s hygiene rating may well influence your decision.

In February 2016, there were 14,251 food outlets across the UK scoring a rating of just two or below – that’s nearly 9% of all premises inspected.

Worse still – 973 of these scored zero on the rating scale – which means they need “urgent improvement”.

Among them will typically be branches of some of the country’s most familiar names.’

Read the full BBC magazine article here: How can you tell the restaurant you’re eating in is clean?

There is a feature episode bo BBC Rip Off Britain, which is currently available on BBC iPlayer: BBC Rip Off Britain: Episode 1: Food Series 3 (first shown: 25 Apr 2016, available to watch for 29 days, as at the time of this news article, 25/04/2016)

If you are eating out look for the food hygiene rating sticker on the food premises or if not visible as what the food hygiene rating is for the restaurant, pub, cafe or takeway.

You can also search via the Food Standards Agency website:

Food Standards Hygiene Ratings

Island Food Safety offer CIEH Food Safety training courses, from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, for food handlers. We advise a minimum of a Level 2 Award in Food Safety for those preparing, handling and selling food. Find out more about our food safety training courses here.

Related links:

Food Standards Hygiene Ratings

Food Standards Agency

BBC Rip Off Britain

BBC iPlayer