Ashfield restaurants best in county for food hygiene

Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Agency

Ashfield has been named as having the best food standards in Nottinghamshire.

Research of Food Standards Agency statistics has revealed the district has the highest proportion of top-scoring food establishments, with 94 per cent. Our restaurants also had the most five-star rating for food hygiene with 90 per cent compared to 86 per cent in Newark and Sherwood, and Mansfield came last with only 59 per cent.

Outside Nottingham, only Gedling and Broxtowe had restaurants scoring zero for food standards.

But the county struggled to keep up with areas in Derbyshire, including Bolsover where 96 per cent of establishments scored a four or five, and South Derbyshire, which had the highest score in the country.

London Boroughs performed worse than any other area, with Ealing, Newham, and Harrow being the worst overall.

The area with the highest proportion of zero ratings was Birmingham with 4.7 per cent of it's 1,249 cafe and restaurants getting the worst possible score.

LoveMyVouchers.co.uk carried out the most in depth study yet into food hygiene ratings for restaurants and cafes in the United Kingdom.

The company said: "In order to find out which areas of the country are doing the best when it comes to meeting the health and safety standards set out by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), we looked at the ratings that businesses have been awarded through the inspections carried out by local authorities under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

"The statistics have revealed some very interesting results."

(The report does not include Scotland, which has a seperate raiting system, and pubs serving food were not included in the study.)

An Ashfield District Council spokesperson said: "The Council’s Commercial Team are a small team of dedicated officers who work closely with local food businesses to not only ensure that basic food standards are met, but also encourage businesses to achieve the highest standards of food safety and quality.

"The team have trialed a number of proactive and reactive approaches including an area approach, where we visited a number of more poor performing business at a busy time – Saturday evening - to gather intelligence on how businesses perform under the pressure of high demand and to ascertain whether there were common causes for hygiene failures, but at the same time supporting them and helping them to make the necessary improvements on the spot.

"For the majority of businesses in Ashfield, the Team work closely with owners and managers to help them achieve the highest standards of food safety and quality. The team also prioritise tackling business proprietors who are not committed to running their businesses in a safe way. Ultimately, public safety is the highest priority and formal legal action will be taken against food businesses that operate in such a way to put the public at risk. One such food business, following formal legal action and prosecution, are now operating to the highest food safety standards and have now been assessed as the highest level 5 under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

"This combination of helping willing businesses, but dealing robustly with businesses that are irresponsible really does make a difference to the standard of our food businesses in the Ashfield area.

"The Food Hygiene rating scheme has been a great mechanism to encourage food businesses to improve food safety standards in their business. As there is currently no legal duty for food businesses to display their food safety rating, members of the public are encouraged to look out for food premises that display a high rating under the Food Hygiene Rating scheme."