Just Eat gives ultimatum to restaurants with zero hygiene rating

By Andrew Don

- Last updated on GMT

Just Eat gives ultimatum to restaurants with zero hygiene rating

Related tags: Hygiene, Restaurant, delivery

Just Eat has resolved to remove restaurants and takeaways with food hygiene practices that are not up to scratch from its platform after an investigation last October found a plethora of zero-rated outlets on the delivery app.

However, it has declined to oust them until 1 May, which means sites that that have the lowest hygiene scores will still be allowed to trade from its app until that date.

The BBC’s investigation last year identified half of outlets rated with a Food Standards Agency (FSA) Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) score of zero by local authorities in London, Bristol and Manchester appeared on the app.

A zero rating means an outlet is in need of “urgent improvement”. This will be based on how hygienically the food is handled, the condition of the building from which it operates and management and documented procedures.

The investigation prompted Just Eat to undertake a review which has now led to a £1m programme, announced 20 February, to work with any restaurant on its platform with an official food hygiene rating of zero, one or two to help them improve their score.

The establishments have been given the 1 May deadline by which to improve their score to a rating of three or higher, or face removal from the platform until they do so.

The delivery platform has linked with global food safety consultant NSF to provide a bespoke improvement plan for substandard restaurants.

The support will include a one-to-one visit from an expert food safety practitioner, provision of a detailed action plan on how to make any required improvements, access to resources and guidance on how to request a re-inspection from their local authority to gain a new FHRS rating.

Zero-rated restaurants will also be offered additional follow-up support.

Safety and hygiene must be 'top priority'

A spokesperson for Just Eat pointed out that a zero rating did not mean an establishment’s food was a risk to human health because the local authority would have closed it immediately if it was.

Graham Corfield, managing director of Just Eat in the UK, says most in the UK already had good food hygiene standards but Just Eat’s investment meant those that needed extra help could now access bespoke support for free.

“This investment will help ensure the takeaway sector continues to improve and meet customers’ high expectations.”

Just Eat has also pledged to include the official FSA scores of each of its UK restaurant partners directly on its platform. This will be rolled out across the whole of the UK in the months ahead.

Heather Hancock, FSA chairman, says: “Just Eat is making clear that food safety and hygiene must be a top priority for all their partner businesses.

“I’m delighted that, from today, all new businesses joining the Just Eat platform must have a food hygiene rating of three or more and I strongly encourage Just Eat to apply the ‘minimum three rating’ across their platform as soon as practicable."

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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