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Bexley Council dispute claims that borough is country’s worst for food hygiene

PUBLISHED: 14:51 14 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:51 14 January 2014

Bexley Council says it is “disgusted” by figures suggesting the borough has the worst levels of food hygiene in the country.

A Which? study of more than 2,000 postcodes revealed huge variations in the quality of food hygiene ratings across the UK this week – with six of the 10 worst postcodes falling within the borough.

The worst in the country was found to be DA7, with nearly half the eateries inspected rating lower than “generally satisfactory”.

However, the council says the figures released by Which? are inaccurate and out-of-date and they had actually seen improvement in the area of food hygiene.

A council spokesman said: “This illustrates the hard work we carry out with local businesses to ensure they comply with food safety legislation, which includes training sessions, business advice and guidance.

“When the Food Safety Hygiene rating scheme started in Bexley in April 2012 we took the decision to focus our resources on rating higher risk food premises, such as takeaways and fast food premises to protect residents.

“The latest figures are showing an improvement in overall ratings as we bring more premises into the scheme.

“We take our food safety role extremely seriously, but would state that it is ultimately the businesses themselves who are responsible for complying with food safety law.”

A Which? spokesman said: “We based our food hygiene rankings on the most recent official data that local authorities provide to the Food Standards Agency on how they are fulfilling their enforcement responsibilities. We have compared local authorities fairly, based on their own submissions.”

To check food hygiene ratings in your area, visit ratings.food.gov.uk.

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