Walsall has been named as the town with the UK’s poorest overall food hygiene rating, with an average score of just 3.68 out of 5.
Birmingham follows closely behind, where a fifth of establishments fail to meet satisfactory standards and have a score of two or below.
Takeaways have been found to be the worst offenders across the UK, with one in nine requiring improvement.
This follows Just Eat’s pledge to remove all restaurants with zero hygiene rating from its platform and provide funding to its establishments with a rating of two or lower to get up to the satisfactory level.
The bottom 10 towns and cities for food hygiene:
- Walsall, West Midlands (score: 3.68)
=2. Birmingham, West Midlands (score: 3.78)
=2. Luton, East Counties (score: 3.78)
3. Bolton, North West (score: 3.83)
=4. St Helens, North West (score: 3.86)
=4. Slough, South East (score: 3.86)
=4. Wigan, North West (score: 3.86)
5. West Bromwich, West Midlands (score: 3.88)
6. Southend-on-Sea, East Counties (score: 3.91)
7. Birkenhead, North West (score: 3.92)
The findings come from a new report that analyses data from the Food Standards Agency and Food Hygiene Rating Scheme to provide an overall picture of how 250,000 of Britain’s food establishments compare on a regional and national level.
Dr. Richard Anderson from High Speed Training, which published the report, said: “Public consciousness around food hygiene is growing and it is crucial that restaurants and takeaways get it right. Just one poor inspection could really damage a business, and we work with hundreds of establishments to help address the challenges involved in running a food business.
“While it’s encouraging that the vast majority of restaurants and takeaways meet the minimum standards, it’s concerning that overall ratings are decreasing. Our Food Hygiene: Know The Score report aims to provide both businesses and customers with the detail they need to make informed decisions and take informed actions when it comes to food standards.”
Harrogate boasts the highest rating nationally, with an average score of 4.85 out of 5 across its 311 establishments. Hastings and Southport are ranked second and third, with average ratings of 4.82 and 4.76, respectively.
The top 10 towns and cities for food hygiene:
- Harrogate, Yorkshire and Humberside (score: 4.85)
2. Hastings, South East (score: 4.82)
3. Southport, North West (score 4.76)
4. Wells, South West (score: 4.72)
=5. Hartlepool, North East (score: 4.70)
=5. Crawley, South East (score: 4.70)
=6. Gloucester, South West (score: 4.69)
=6. Lincoln, East Midlands (score: 4.69)
=7. Carlisle, North West (score: 4.68)
=7. Chatham, South East (score: 4.68)
The report’s interactive map, which can be accessed here, provides a breakdown of overall food hygiene ratings by industry.