Which? reveals the safest and riskiest food safety postcodes

Research by consumer group Which? has revealed that food safety at restaurants and take away outlets are a postcode lottery, with massive variations in safety standards across the country….

Now we’re all quite used to the tabloids (and some broadsheets) banding about the term “postcode lottery” at the drop of a hat, but in this case Which? seem to be using the term correctly.  Large differences in results of food safety inspections which took place across England, Northern Ireland and Wales from January 2011 to March 2013.  The inspectors rated the premises which they visited using the Food Standards Agency’s scoring system, and the analysis in the Which? report shows that despite all food outlets having to comply to the safe legal standards, differences remain.

For example Birmingham B78 (Castle Vale) came up trumps as the location with the best overall rating, while Bexley on the Kent/London border fairing worst with 45% of premises rated less than “generally satisfactory”.  This seems to fly in the face of accepted wisdom that affluent districts have better food safety standards than others, with Birmingham currently suffering from some of the highest rates of unemployment in the UK yet managing to easily beat  Bexley, in the booming South East England, in terms of food safety.

More surprises were revealed when looking at the results on a company basis with scores from such household names as La Tasca and Little Chef showing a noticeable minority of outlets with low ratings.



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