Say NO to the zero hygiene ratings
Recently, BBC News published details of its investigation of the popular in the UK food ordering app Just Eat – and the results are pretty frightening.
In the UK, local authorities are responsible for carrying out restaurant and takeaway inspections. The ratings, however, don’t seem to prevent business owners from placing further advertising and promotion with the app.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, restaurants and takeaways are given a food hygiene rating ranging from 0 (in need of urgent improvement) to 5 (food hygiene is very good) by the Food Standards Agency.
A staggering 64.5 percent of Birmingham takeaways listed on the app – 20 out of the 31 included, have a been rated as zero for hygiene. For Liverpool, the results are even worse, with 69 per cent of listed restaurants getting a zero rating.
Manchester, Bristol and London are all better off – but only slightly, with an average of 50 per cent.
The Just Eat app has been asked to evaluate the issue and ensure restaurants and food businesses don’t abuse its system. As a response to a customer rights campaign, the company has stated that they are taking the issue very seriously, promising to keep a close eye on the ratings.
“It’s absolutely filthy.”, the hygiene inspectors say
Ealing Council’s environmental health assessment team deems a lot of London’s pubs and takeaway places a health hazard. From rampant pests and rodents to food safety issues, the zero-hygiene rating is dangerous both for those who eat in the restaurants and for the customers who decide to order out.
Apps like Just Eat, and there are several, might save potential customers the inconvenience of going out for food, but unfortunately, they also mean users don’t see the poor condition of some of the places doing business there.
On online websites and apps, customers are often greeted with high consumer reviews and testimonials. Sadly, none of these services feature hygiene score disclosure in any way. Marketing principles aside, this situation is dangerous in more ways than one.
Staying healthy takes effort
Just like the majority of health and wellness blogs and outlets will tell you, trying to distance yourself from dangerous toxins and other health hazards is key to your long-term physical wellbeing.
Imagine spending your entire weekend on cleaning up your home – dusting, washing, vacuuming and scrubbing away at every spot in the house. Then, you go and cook yourself a nice and healthy meal, with all the necessary nutrients, staying away from harmful ingredients. The next day, you come home from work, and you are just too tired to cook. So, you open the most popular app you can come across, and you order from a four-star restaurant. As far as you know, it’s all safe and clean, right? Well, perhaps. If you’re lucky. But you might actually be ordering from a place with a zero-hygiene rating – you just won’t know it!
Those of you who dedicate a significant portion of their time to DIY domestic cleaning and wellbeing will surely relate to this. This problem compromises everything you do to keep yourself out of harm’s way – so, surely, there must be another way?
The solution is up to the business owners
In this particular case, Just Eat has said it will be actively working to increase hygiene standards. It’s even gone as far as stating that ’whenever any potential food safety issues are brought to our attention, our restaurant compliance team will review, investigate and liaise with the local authority’.
But that doesn’t go far enough for consumer rights advocates. Campaigner Chris Emmins says hygiene ratings for each restaurant should be displayed individually on the company’s page in the app in a clear and easy to read manner and that there needs to be more proactive change.
“There is a duty on all businesses to safeguard their customers, and it’s no good saying you are just an agent,” he said.
“If that was a standard traditional business – a supermarket or a travel agent, for example – they would be hauled over the coals for that sort of lack of due diligence.”
But without change, there’s little customers can do other than voting with their wallets. In reality, change will be driven by the business owners trading on the food ordering apps.
A lot of food businesses have failed to realise the importance of implementing proper cleaning practices and are now being shunned by customers and the media alike.
Asking your employees to clean up on top of their usual duties can seem cheaper in the short term, but it rarely pays dividends in the long run. The best solution is always to use professional commercial cleaners who are properly trained and understand the requirements for complying with hygiene regulations.
You are not alone!
What every business owner should realise is that they’re not the only service provider with this issue. As Chris Emmins says, every self-respecting business needs to take hygiene seriously if it wants to continue trading successfully.
For restaurants, though, making sure that everything is professionally cleaned and kept in line with the best practices is doubly important – the health and wellbeing of your clients is at stake here!
Professional cleaning companies exist for a reason and hiring them comes with all the perks of having a team of fully trained, equipped and experienced individuals.
As a first-choice provider of domestic and commercial cleaning services, FastKlean is well aware of the situation. We’ve invested a great deal of time and resources into researching and implementing innovative cleaning approaches that can take care of the wellbeing of properties, employees and customers in an eco-friendly manner.
Affordable, efficient and effective, our professional commercial cleaning teams are always just a phone call away!
photo credit: walesonline.co.uk
Source: BBC News