A survey of 356 English, Welsh and Northern Irish council areas revealed the London borough of Newham had the highest percentage of pubs with low food hygiene ratings.
Some 19.2% of pubs, bars and nightclubs in Newham currently hold a zero, one or two-star rating.
Fellow London boroughs Havering (3rd), Islington (4th) and Westminster (9th) also ranked among the top 10 worst councils for pub food hygiene.
Hygiene increasingly important
Linda Firth, director at LoveMyVouchers.co.uk, which compiled the results, said: “The study aimed to raise awareness about the ratings. There is nothing better than a good pub lunch but, as budgets tighten, food hygiene standards could become increasingly important for diners choosing where to spend their money.”
Epsom and Ewell (2nd), Vale of Glamorgan (5th), South Buckinghamshire (6th), Rushmoor (7th), Runnymede (8th), and Vale of White Horse (10th) had the worst pub food hygiene ratings outside the capital.
Lisburn & Castlereagh City in Northern Ireland had the best pub food hygiene ratings in the UK with 100% of businesses there given the top scores.
It was followed by Middlesbrough (99.1%), Newry, Mourne & Down (98.4%), Hartlepool (98.2%), North Devon (98.0%), Stevenage (97.7%), Denbighshire (97.4%), Thanet (97.4%), Oadby and Wigston (97.1%) and Mid Ulster (97.1%).
Unwilling to spend
Customers are becoming increasingly unwilling to spend their money in food businesses that achieve lower food hygiene ratings, with a recent report into the ratings scheme by NFU Mutual reporting that almost half of all customers would refuse to dine at a pub that scored below three stars.
Pubs also fell behind hotels, bakeries, cafés, casual and fine-dining restaurants when it came to consumer perception of their hygiene standards.
Only 24% of diners aged between 18 and 24 generally assumed pubs to have high food hygiene standards, according to NFU Mutual’s research.
Darren Seward, hospitality sector specialist at NFU Mutual, previously said: “This should act as an urgent wake-up call to these businesses – your customers will leave in droves if they believe you are risking their health.”
The worst council areas for pub food hygiene: