What goes on in the kitchens of restaurants may not always be apparent to consumers – but when they are ordering food remotely via an app they are even further removed from the approach to food safety and hygiene.
In England and Wales local authorities are responsible for inspecting restaurants and takeaways and rating them for their hygiene standards on a scale 0-5. Zero indicates the outlet is ‘in need of urgent improvement’. A BBC investigation looking at restaurants in major cities in October 2018 found that a significant number of outlets rated zero by the Food Standards Agency were, nevertheless, listed on food ordering platform Just Eat.
In response to this, Just Eat has now announced that from 1 May all zero rated establishments will be removed from their platform. However they are not abandoning smaller businesses, which they have pledged to help to improve their hygiene standards. They will be investing £1m to fund visits by food safety experts to food businesses to advise on action plans to improve their ‘scores on the doors’ ratings. The platform is also including the official FSA food hygiene rating of each restaurant more prominently on its website and app.
Given the wide range of choice available to consumers, this is both a sensible and significant step by Just Eat to retain the confidence of their customer base.
Just Eat says it will be investing £1m to raise food hygiene and safety standards, and will help any restaurant on its platform with a rating of zero, one or two to improve.