In a rating of restaurant hygiene based on public inspection scores in the UK, the SE25 area of Croydon has been listed as one of the “worst areas,” as a takeaway in Selhurst area, just outside of the SE25 postcode, received the highest food safety fine ever levied by Croydon Magistrates — £30,000 after failing to meet standards since 2005.
Consumer group Which? Magazine collected data from thousands of local authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2011 onwards.
East London Lines reports the results come from individual councils’ food and safety inspections carried out in accordance with guidelines set by the Food Standards Agency.
The guidelines provide a 0-6 scale, scoring food outlets from 0 meaning “urgent improvement necessary,” to 5 meaning ‘very good.’
Although the subheading of the “Which?” article uses the word “eateries,” the data includes food outlets such as takeaways and restaurants, but also schools and hospitals.
“Which?” reported that 44 per cent of the 85 inspected outlets in the SE25 area of Croydon scored less than 3. The average score for Croydon was 2.65.
The worst in the country was Bexley with an average score of 2.62.
East London Lines spoke to the Food Safety Team at Croydon Council who said that “there are many reasons why the average ratings vary from place to place”.
One of the suggested reasons is that there may be variation in the way in which people are grading. The spokesman said that some people may be “tougher than others.”
Croydon Council stressed that “whilst those premises with low scores do have things that they should improve they are not considered to be an immediate health risk.”
When asked about the high percentage of low scores, The Food Safety Team commented that a low score does not necessarily reflect the hygiene of premises.
Lots of smaller businesses and owners who do not have English as their first language often do not have a proper written health and safety system and “this prevents them scoring over one on the hygiene rating system, regardless of how good they are.”
Croydon Council said that they are working with these businesses to improve their grading.
East London Lines found that the claims published by “Which?” do not correlate with information on “Scores On the Doors,” although both use council’s FSA data as their source.