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homeTuesday 25th April 2017

Hotels across UK are failing food hygiene standards

Stuart Spear23/02/2017 - 11:13

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Hotels are failing to meet food hygiene standards
Hotels are failing to meet food hygiene standards

Research by the consumer campaign group Which? has revealed that hundreds of hotels across the UK, including those with four and five star ratings, are failing basic food hygiene standards.

The research published this week reveals that 652 UK hotels including B&Bs and guest houses received a food hygiene rating score (FHRS) of two or below or an ‘improvement required’ under the Scottish rating system.

Researchers also found that some hotels were choosing not to display their ratings either on site or on line. Which? Has joined the CIEH in calling for the introduction of mandatory display of the FHRS both outside a premises and on its web site.

Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, said: ‘Around nine in ten of us eat at least one meal in our overnight accommodation so it’s vital that hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses have high standards of food hygiene. We know that displaying the rating outside the premises encourages higher standards, which is why we support the FSA case for a compulsory display scheme for the whole of the UK.’

Which? Travel sent undercover researchers to do a spot check at eight hotels in London, Birmingham and Northumberland with a food hygiene rating of between 0 and 2. Not one visibly displayed its rating at the time of the visit.

Poor hygiene standards were not limited to the bottom end of the market with hotel’s sporting two rosettes and four and five stars failing to meet adequate levels of food safety.

Specifically, London’s five-star Royal Horseguards hotel has two AA Rosettes but a hygiene rating of just two. In Birmingham, the four-star Novotel was given a hygiene rating of two for ‘high-risk food… out of temperature control’.

 Inspectors at the four-star Copthorne Hotel in Birmingham discovered raw meat stored next to sauces in the fridge and out-of-date seafood, awarding a rating of one. With two AA Rosettes, Best Western’s Dean Court Hotel in York was given a food hygiene rating of just one.

CIEH head of policy Tony Lewis said: ‘Just this week we have had two reports questioning hygiene standards, one relating to our abattoirs and this one looking at hotels. A question that springs to mind is whether this is a symptom of what the FSA sees as a failing system in England, but more importantly will the regulating our future agenda actually address these failings?’  

Hotel’s highlighted in the report defended their poor food hygiene scores. Best Western blamed the score at Dean Court Hotel in York on ‘a previous chef’s administrative oversight and clerical error’. It said the hotel is currently awaiting re-inspection.

A spokesperson for Guoman, owner of the Royal Horseguards, said: ‘A new senior management team immediately took action to improve standards,’ after its March 2016 inspection. ‘The hotel is in touch with [Westminster] Council and expects to have another inspection shortly.’

Novotel’s owner, Accor, said about its Birmingham property: ‘We took immediate action to correct the issues raised from the inspection [in June 2016]. We are currently in the process of applying for recertification.’

A Copthorne spokesperson explained that ‘the visit [by inspectors] occurred at a time when standard processes had been disrupted temporarily by a change in the kitchen team. ‘The general manager took immediate action to remedy the faults identified and requested a return visit by environmental health inspectors at the earliest opportunity. At the time of writing (January 2017), a formal visit has not yet been made.

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