Diners show a clean pair of heels to dirty kitchens

Dirty kitchen

Restaurants that routinely fail to meet kitchen hygiene obligations have been warned that their businesses face “dire consequences”.

Analysis in The Guardian found that one in seven takeaways in the UK have failed food hygiene inspections, exposing the potentially crippling cost of getting food safety wrong.

The report, based on Food Standards Agency data, found that overall more than 30,000 UK restaurants failed food hygiene inspections – 6.4% of the total.

Food safety management specialist Checkit said its own research reinforces the view that restaurants that come up short on kitchen hygiene are almost certainly discouraging customers.

64% of consumers said they’d boycott takeaways with food hygiene ratings of 2 or below, while 61% admitted they wouldn’t visit any food business with low ratings. 75% said they wouldn’t risk dining at a restaurant that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident, even if recommended by someone that they trust.

And 66% of respondents rated unclean or dirty premises as key reasons for not returning to a restaurant, well ahead of rude staff (32%) and slow service (16%).

“This latest analysis spells out the dire consequences of poor food hygiene across the industry,” said David Davies, managing director of Checkit. “Consumers simply won’t visit restaurants with low ratings – could your business lose over 60% of its customers and still survive?”

Davies added that food safety management isn’t just about cleanliness – a large number of businesses fail because they don’t have robust systems or adequate records in place and simply can’t provide evidence that they are running a hygienic, safe establishment. “It is time for all businesses to invest in digital food safety technology if they want to survive in today’s competitive markets,” he said.

The full findings from Checkit’s research, along with recommendations for food businesses, are available in ‘The Financial Impact of Getting Food Safety Wrong’ management report, which can be downloaded from HERE.

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