Saturday 25 March 2017

Edinburgh And Glasgow Ranks Bottom For 'Poor Food Hygiene'

Food Hygine

Edinburgh and Glasgow have the lowest food safety standards in Scotland, latest investigation shows.

The study by Which? found that the capital was ranked bottom in Scotland and the eighth lowest-ranking local authority area in the UK, while Glasgow was the second lowest in Scotland.

Five other local authorities in Scotland - Aberdeen, Moray, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Perth and Kinross - were ranked in the bottom 10% across the UK.

The Orkney Islands were found to have the best food safety standards in Scotland and finished seventh in the UK overall.

The second highest-ranked council area in Scotland was North Lanarkshire.

The Which? study analysed food hygiene standards across all 32 of the country's local authorities using data submitted to Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

It ranked them based on the proportion of medium and high-risk premises meeting hygiene requirements, the proportion of total premises rated for risk and the proportion of planned interventions such as inspections or follow-up actions the councils carried out.

It is the responsibility of businesses to make sure that they are meeting hygiene standards but it is the job of councils to enforce compliance, and enforcement is overseen by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the FSS.

A review of food recall arrangements is currently under way by the FSA and the FSS, but Which? have expressed concerns that proposed reforms could see a shift towards more inspections being carried out by third parties, possibly in the private sector.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services, said: "People expect their food to be safe, but there is clearly still work to be done.

"As we prepare to leave the EU, the government and regulators need to ensure that there is a robust, independent system of enforcement in place to give people confidence that the food they're eating is hygienic."

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Council said: "The City of Edinburgh Council's Environmental Health Team robustly inspect and assess food premises, providing written advice and guidance on what they must improve in order to achieve a pass.

"The council does not accept that the database was designed to rank authorities in the way suggested.

"Many non-compliances used to achieve this 'ranking' are often technical in nature which in no way puts the public at risk."



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