Pubs raise food hygiene standards for third-year running, FSA finds

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Local authorities, Food standards agency

‘Broad compliance’ of food hygiene in pubs and clubs in 2013/14 was 92%
‘Broad compliance’ of food hygiene in pubs and clubs in 2013/14 was 92%
Hygiene standards in pubs and clubs have improved for the third-year running, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has found.

‘Broad compliance’ of food hygiene in pubs and clubs in 2013/14 was 92%, up from 91% last year and 89% in 2011/12, according to the FSA’s Annual report on UK local authority food law enforcement.

It compares against 91.7% of all rated food outlets – including restaurants, hotels, takeaways, schools and caring-homes – being broadly compliant, a slight increase on the 91.2% recorded in 2012/13.

The FSA defines ‘broad compliance’ as the equivalent of a three, four or five-star rating under its Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS), which it introduced in 2010.

In all, 77.5% of local authorities had broad compliance levels of 90% or greater for rated establishments, up from 71.9% last year.

Measurement numbers

The FSA report also found that a greater number of food establishments were having their hygiene standards measured.

In total, 622,015 food establishments were registered with local authorities at 31 March 2014, an increase of 2.3% on 2012/13.

Of these, 34,529 (5.6%) were not yet rated for food hygiene risk, a decrease from 5.9% in 2012/13.

Local authorities have also been more proactive in taking samples of food, with 75,547 samples taken in 2013/14 – an increase of 3% from the previous year.

Complaints up

However, local authorities also dealt with more consumer complaints about hygiene standards – 70,522 was a 2.3% increase on 2013/14.

Total local authority interventions were down by 0.2% on last year, but formal enforcement actions increased by 1%.

The total number of establishments subject to seizure, detention and surrender of food, increased by 26.5% (from 543 to 687).

Prosecutions increased by 2.3% (from 398 to 407) and remedial action and detention notices were also up, by 18.3% (from 213 to 252).

Consumer awareness

The latest report follows on from the publication of an FSA survey that found more the three-quarters of UK consumers are aware of FSA food hygiene schemes, up from 55% two years ago.

John Barnes, head of local delivery at the FSA, said: “The figures this year show business hygiene compliance levels are continuing to improve, with 91.7% of food businesses equivalent to FHRS level 3 or above.

“There’s also been a notable increase in food sampling by local authorities to check food authenticity and to make sure food is what it says is, is safe and is properly labelled.

Barnes added: “These are very positive developments, and it’s good to see that local authorities are continuing to target their work in the face of lower staffing levels, which fell by 3.2% in 2013/14 compared with the previous year.”

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