Most people in UK don’t check takeaway hygiene ratings

Most people in UK don’t check takeaway hygiene ratings

by Sue Jones
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Only one fifth of British people always check the hygiene rating of a takeaway restaurant before ordering, according to new research.

A survey of 1,000 adults in the United Kingdom in July 2020 found one in 10 say the hygiene rating does not affect their decision on placing an order.

The research was done by Furniture Choice. It is an area the company has not explored before but it was keen to highlight the popularity of takeaways across the country as something people enjoy as families.

The online furniture retailer wanted to look into 0-rated takeaways and highlight how often people don’t check the hygiene rating of their local site.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is run by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and local authorities. Display became mandatory in Wales in November 2013 and October 2016 in Northern Ireland. In England, businesses are not required by law to display their ratings. Premises are awarded a rating based on food hygiene standards ranging from 0 (urgent improvement necessary) to 5 (very good). The Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS) covers Scotland.

Likeliness of checking hygiene rating by city
Based on data from the FSA as of early August, Birmingham had the most zero star hygiene rated takeaways followed by Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, and Nottingham.

Although ranking third for the most 0-star hygiene rating takeaways, the poll revealed those in Bristol are the least likely to check hygiene ratings, with 36 percent admitting that they don’t check because the outcome doesn’t bother them.

Despite ranking second, nearly a third of people in Liverpool said they always check a takeaway’s hygiene rating. Residents of Sheffield are the most likely to check a hygiene rating out of all of major UK cities, and almost half of Newcastle households listed hygiene as one of the biggest factors to influence their decision when choosing a takeaway.

The menu is the biggest influence on people’s choice of where to order from, with nearly half saying it is an important factor. Only 15 percent said that online recommendations influence their takeaway decisions.

A quarter of participants said their go-to was Chinese cuisine, closely followed by Indian at 23 percent, fish and chips at 14 percent, and Italian at 12 percent.

Hygiene rating not a factor for those in Edinburgh
Takeaways are rated differently in Scotland with locations either achieving a pass or requiring improvement. Edinburgh comes out worse than Glasgow based on these rankings, with 137 takeaways requiring improvement.

No-one in Edinburgh said the hygiene rating of a takeaway influenced their decision to buy, with 36 percent admitting that they do not check the rating of their favorite takeaways because they don’t know where to find this information.

Tom Obbard, managing director at Furniture Choice, said households have spent more time together in recent months and ordering in food from restaurants and takeaways has been a treat for many.

“We do however recommend that before ordering, Brits check up on the hygiene rating of their chosen takeaway before parting with their hard-earned cash. All you need to do to check the takeaways score is visit the Food Standards Agency website and search your postcode,” he said.

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