Wigan restaurants named among the most unhygienic in the UK
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That’s according to new analysis which has revealed more than 150 eateries in the town received a two-star food hygiene rating or lower - meaning ‘improvement is necessary’.
The news comes following extensive research from food labelling specialists, The Barcode Warehouse.
Their analysis revealed that Wigan finished in fourth place.
Of the 2,495 businesses analysed in the town, a shocking 6.65 per cent received a rating of two-stars or less - the lowest ratings for food hygiene standards.
That’s considerably worse than nearby Warrington, where just 1.54 per cent of restaurants were graded sub-standard food hygiene ratings.
Knowing a restaurant's food hygiene standards rating is essential for peace of mind when dining out, especially for customers who have allergies or special diets.
In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the Food Standards Agency gives businesses a rating from zero to five that has to be displayed on its premises and online.
A rating of three means the hygiene standards are ‘generally satisfactory’ and anything under means ‘improvement is necessary’.
Of the 50 most populated UK towns and cities analysed in the study, Wigan ranked in a dismal 46th place for the proportion of businesses that received a five-star rating - the highest grade which means hygiene standards are ‘very good’.
Worryingly, just over half (52.1 per cent) of all businesses in the town received the top rating.
When looking at the overall rankings, which take into account the number of restaurants catering to vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and halal diets - Wigan also performs poorly, ranking in 46th place again for its general food inclusivity.
The Barcode Warehouse hopes its research will help to shine a light on the hospitality industry’s hygiene standards.
Commenting on the research, Joanna Jagiello, marketing director at The Barcode Warehouse, said: “With locations like Ipswich and Nottingham having such a high percentage of restaurants with the top rating for food hygiene, it is evident that there are a number of locations where diners can have peace of mind that eateries are adhering to the highest level of food hygiene standards.
“That said, with towns like Wigan it’s clear that eateries must do more to ensure the highest food hygiene standards are being met.
“Key to ensuring hospitality venues can meet the required food hygiene standards is implementing an effective food labelling system.
"That way restaurants and cafés can display accurate information about the composition of their food and serve to customers in full confidence.”
The full research, which further examines the locations where restaurants have the best and worst food hygiene ratings, as well as the locations that are most suitable for different dietary requirements, can be found here.