Bureau Veritas grills takeaway industry on cleaning up food hygiene ratings
May. 7 2019
Amid mounting pressure on UK takeaways to raise food hygiene standards, Bureau Veritas is advising business that utilising the latest technology can be increasingly essential to achieving compliance.
It comes as a major report by the BBC found that more than half of takeaway premises with ‘zero’ hygiene ratings were included on the UK’s leading online food delivery platform. Responding with a new nationwide food safety scheme, Just Eat has said it will not only remove takeaways with a ‘zero’ rating from its listings but from now on will publish the Food Standards Agency (FSA) hygiene ratings of all its providers.
Joy Franks, Food Market Director at Bureau Veritas, commented: “The BBC report was hard to swallow for both consumers and those in the foodservice industry. Poor hygiene ratings are never acceptable but the current takeaway boom and the rise of online ordering platforms has temporarily allowed providers with unacceptable hygiene practices to slip through the net. It’s therefore heartening to hear that Britain’s biggest delivery firm is cracking down on this and hopefully it will spearhead a wider initiative to clean up the UK takeaway industry as a whole.”
New research by the Government has also found that the number of fines and prosecutions for food safety and hygiene offences has more than doubled since the introduction of new sentencing guidelines in 2016 – rising from 60 in 2013 to an average of 130 each year. The average penalty has also soared by £5,000 in recent years and now stands at £7,100.
Joy adds: “Given the rise of fines and prosecutions for food safety and hygiene offences, maintaining good food safety standards and achieving acceptable hygiene ratings is now a matter of survival for many businesses, particularly for takeaway and restaurant chains. In today’s lucrative takeaway market, technology can be a great help by facilitating greater accuracy and visibility. Not only can it help to reduce risk and increase compliance relating to food safety but the latest innovations with smart technologies can also enable operators to continuously improve food safety and quality, closely monitor individual site performance in real time and can even deliver training and support where needed. When just one food safety incident can have a devastating impact on reputation and revenue, it is certainly something that should be on the menu.”
As a global health and safety and compliance expert, Bureau Veritas is ideally placed to provide a holistic support service to organisations working in the food industry. Its SAFEOPS digital service powered by Eezytrace enables users to carry out all of the daily checks they need to deliver high quality, safe products to their customers. The online dashboard can quickly identify and resolve any problems that pose a threat to reputation by showing the status of compliance in each outlet across a whole network.
For more information about SAFEOPS, visit safeops.bureauveritas.com/