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Bexley businesses boosted by food standards ratings

PUBLISHED: 16:37 16 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:37 17 May 2016

Food hygiene is consumers' number one priority when eating out, the research reveals

Food hygiene is consumers' number one priority when eating out, the research reveals

Archant

The borough has the joint-lowest number of poorly-rated premises

Bexley food businesses have been given a boost by news that they have some of the best food standards ratings in London.

Along with Kensington and Chelsea, Bexley has the lowest number of poorly-rated premises, with just five per cent receiving a Food Standards Agency (FSA) food hygiene rating of two or below.

Research and analysis by Checkit reveals 61 per cent of consumers say they will not eat at a restaurant, coffee shop or pub with a poor food hygiene rating, while three quarters would not risk dining at a restaurant that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident - even if recommended by someone they trust.

Cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure Cllr Peter Craske said; “The variety of restaurants and places to eat is one of the reasons Bexley is a great place to live. Unseen by residents, our food standards team do a great job, inspecting premises and ensuring people can eat out in confidence.

“It is good to see independent evidence bearing this out, and I hope everyone will continue to support our great restaurants, pubs and cafes.”

Across London, 5,168 businesses selling food (13 per cent of the total) have low food hygiene ratings, with takeaways and sandwich shops - 22 per cent of which are classed as requiring some kind of improvement - the worst offenders.

Newham is the worst borough for hygiene according to the figures, with 31 per cent of food outlets having low ratings.

The study also found that diners would rather put up with poor service from rude and unhelpful staff than eat at dirty restaurants.

Some 66 per cent of respondents rated unclean or dirty premises as the first or second reason for not returning to a restaurant, while just 16 per cent cited slow or poor service and 32 per cent rude or unhelpful staff.

Checkit marketing director Dee Roche said: “These findings show why food safety is priority – customers rate hygiene as the number one reason, above service or rude staff when it comes to choosing whether to return to a restaurant.”

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