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According to a study by consumer group Which?, Birmingham city council and Hyndburn borough council have been ranked— for the second year running— as the worst areas in Britain for poor standards of hygiene in their cafes and restaurants.
Following the names closely are Hyndburn, Lancashire, Camden, Croydon, Isles of Scilly, Falkirk, Glasgow and Edinburgh on the poor hygiene table.
Birmingham City Council, the report added, had a poor record for carrying out inspections within 28 days of a food business opening, with 16 per cemt of the city’s more than 8,000 food businesses yet to be rated. They also found that 43 per cent of Birmingham’s high and medium-risk food businesses did not meet food compliance standards.
Mark Croxford, of Birmingham City Council, has defended the council saying: ‘The quality of food businesses in Birmingham is not a measure or reflection of the council’s performance. I am surprised and disappointed to see Which? have made the same mistake as they have done in previous years, in failing to engage with local authorities to produce a meaningful report.
‘It is apparent – using the same Local Authority Monitoring System (LAEMS) data available to Which? – that Birmingham City Council’s environmental health team have inspected the second highest number of premises, undertaken more prosecutions, closed more food premises and suspended more approved manufacturers than any other English local authority in 2016/17.
‘These interventions show we actively inspect food businesses and take any necessary action, where there are problems, to deal with them robustly and keep people safe.’