A new study has revealed the best and worst council areas for food hygiene ratings at restaurants and cafes in the UK.
The Food Standards Agency website holds the data from inspections carried out by each local authority under the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme. Every business that serves food is awarded with a hygiene rating between 0 (urgent improvement necessary) and 5 (very good).
Out of a total of 360 council areas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the area with the highest percentage of restaurants and cafes with poor ratings is the London Borough of Newham, with 29.2% rated 0, 1 or 2.
The London boroughs actually dominated the list of the worst ranking council districts, with Ealing coming second on 28.2%, Harrow third on 26.2%, and many others with over 15% of their restaurants rated 2 or below.
Outside London, Hertsmere, Birmingham and Hyndburn have the highest percentage of eateries which are poorly rated for hygiene.
Scotland has a different rating system to the rest of the UK and is therefore the subject of a separate study.
The area where the highest percentage of restaurants are good or very good (rated 4 and 5), is South Derbyshire with 99.1%, closely followed by Darlington with 98.8% and South Norfolk with 97.7%.
Food establishments are obliged to clearly display the rating that they are given, and with more and more people paying attention to this scoring system, the rating received by a business can be pivotal to its success.
The study, carried out my LoveMyVouchers.co.uk, also found that out of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and the London Boroughs, Northern Ireland had the lowest proportion of restaurants requiring improvement.
Most of the best performing council districts, with high percentages of good and very good restaurants, were in England, however.