Wigan’s eateries have the lowest average food hygiene rating outside of London, a new study has revealed.
But they still averaged more than four stars out of a possible five according to Claims Direct, which gathered data on over 450,000 food businesses from across the UK, highlighting the average hygiene rating in each postcode area.
The study found that 1,934 food serving establishments with a Wigan postcode scored an average of 4.23 out of five, marginally below the national average of 4.52.
The score placed Wigan joint 10th in the league of the lowest scores alongside Ilford - with the worst nine boroughs also being in the capital. Eateries in Southall were the worst performing in the country, with a lowly 3.89 average hygiene rating.
The scores varied by type of business. For example, 265 takeaways in Wigan garnered an average rating of 3.43, against the UK average of 4.06. Meanwhile, hotels had an average of 3.86.
But the borough’s restaurants and pubs fared much better, earning averages of 4.27 and 4.2 respectively.
But the council remained upbeat about local hygiene standards, saying it was proud that Wigan had a “good” average.
Julie Middlehurst, regulatory services manager, said: “Wigan Council has an excellent team of officers working to improve food hygiene standards across the borough every day. A food hygiene rating of three indicates that a food premises is “satisfactory”, a four is “good” and a five is “very good”.
“We are pleased that the average score for all food premises across the borough is more than four stars.
“Officers carry out food hygiene checks to determine the rating, which includes the hygiene practices, cleanliness and condition of facilities and building, and confidence in the management to enable good food hygiene. We will continue to work closely with business owners to continue to improve these ratings.”
The data was gathered from June to August 2019, using inspection results on the Food Standards Agency website.
Businesses that serve food are rated on how hygienically it is handled; how it is prepared, cooked, reheated, cooled and stored; the condition of the structure of the buildings; the cleanliness, lay-out, lighting, ventilation and other facilities, as well as how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.
The information provided on businesses is held on behalf of local authorities participating in the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.