Half the population ‘concerned about food hygiene’

August 6th, 2014 Category: Commercial

Eating out is a luxury for many people in the tight economic climate, while for commuters it might be part and parcel of everyday life. Regardless of how often Brits eat out, there is an increasing awareness of food-related issues, such as hygiene, with rising numbers of people expressing concerns about hygiene levels when eating out.

The results of an ongoing official study called the Biannual Public Attitudes Tracker survey have recently been published, outlining changes in the levels of concern among the British public when it comes to all matters food related. Among the findings was that food hygiene is a worry for almost half the population when dining out at restaurants, pubs, takeaways and cafes.

According to the results of the survey, 49 per cent of Brits are concerned about the hygiene and safety of the food they eat when dining out, while 46 per cent of people felt the same about buying and eating food from supermarkets.

Despite the figures, the majority of people surveyed also said they were aware of the hygiene standards in eateries they visited or bought food from; 82 per cent of individuals said they knew how hygienic the standards of eateries were. Almost two thirds of people judged the standard of hygiene from the general appearance of the premises, while 47 per cent checked the appearance of staff to ascertain the overall levels of cleanliness.

More than a third of people surveyed said they were aware of restaurants or pubs they visited having food hygiene certificates, while 29 per cent said they had seen hygiene stickers and used these as a guide for the cleanliness of the surroundings and the standard of food hygiene.  The number of individuals reporting having seen hygiene stickers rose by between 12 and 25 per cent compared with previous survey waves.

In addition, the survey also posed questions about food hygiene in the home. Of those surveyed, 17 per cent of people said they were concerned about the safety of food stored and cooked in their property. The figure is slightly higher than the 15 per cent recorded during the last survey.

Food hygiene takes into account how food is stored, prepared and cooked, as well as the cleanliness of the premises and buildings and how businesses are managed. Recently published inspection data from the Food Standards Agency revealed hygiene ratings for a number of well-known eateries across the country, with some faring better than others.

Fast food chain Dixy Chicken has dozens of outlets throughout the nation; the FSA inspected 91 outlets and revealed that a third were found to have unsatisfactory food hygiene standards. Of the 77 Little Chef restaurants assessed, more than 18 per cent were deemed unsatisfactory.

Restaurant chain Giraffe was inspected and found to have satisfactory food hygiene levels across the board, while Nando's performed just as well. Of the 195 Papa John pizza parlours assessed, just over six per cent of franchises had unsatisfactory cleanliness standards, while 1.3 per cent of Burger King outlets were shown to not meet satisfactory standards.