Which? brands SE25 eateries among worst in country

Fast food outlets in part of Croydon are among the worst in the country for hygiene standards, according to a report published today by the consumer watchdog, Which?

And don’t stray too far away across south London, because Bexley tops a league table for the dirtiest takeaways, with Kingston in second place.

Burger King Opens First European WHOPPER BarThe watchdog looked at restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels and food areas in convenience stores to compile its best and worst

A satisfactory rating is 3/5. Bexley scored 2.62, with food outlets in the SE25 postcode in Croydon, around Norwood Junction and Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park ground, averaging only fractionally better, at 2.65.

The Which? investigation found ­Birmingham’s balti area was the best, with a top score of 4.9 and no premises rated below 3.

While many food outlets already display their hygiene ratings in their shop windows – obviously, those that have best practice – Which? is now calling for the law to be changed to make it obligatory so that customers can tell at a glance how clean the shops are.

“Our investigation shows that food hygiene is an unacceptable postcode lottery,” said Richard Lloyd of Which? “Diners shouldn’t be taking a risk with their health simply by choosing the wrong area in which to eat out.

“We want everywhere that serves food to the public to display their hygiene score prominently so people can make an informed choice.”

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7 Responses to Which? brands SE25 eateries among worst in country

  1. derekthrower says:

    This story appears to have a conflict of interest. You tell us things are bad, but don’t want to criticise the Borough’s businesses. Please can you provide a link to the actual scores published by Which. Norwood Junction is singled out but i do have difficulty in believing some other locatons in the Borough are doing any better. Rather than highlight just one location wouldn’t it be better to provide the range of scores to inform readers.

    • That’s got to be a first – IC accused of not wanting to criticise the borough’s businesses. We’ll print off this comment, Derek and use it to show people next time that we are accused of not signing up to the Croydon Glee Club that sees, hears and speaks none of the borough’s issues.

      The report is from Which?, the Consumer’s Association as was. No one’s ever accused them of conflicts of interest before, either. They are well regarded for solid research, and lobbying for a range of legislation on behalf of consumers.

      The read-between-the-lines message, surely, is to check whether the place where you’ve just bought that piece of cooked food actually displays an up-to-date hygiene rating. Responsible traders with nothing to hide will do so.

      And there is a link to the report – you need to pay a fee to access it.

  2. derekthrower says:

    OOOh Inside Croydon could crush a grape. Still you have not answered why you have only highlighted one location. Your bluster appears to show that a press release has been taken as a source and you have not bothered to contextualise this information with regards to the whole borough.

    • We’ve highlighted the worst three because they are the worst three.

      The link’s there to the source material. Crush a grape, but can’t click a link?

  3. I blame Croydon Council.

    In particular, I hope someone will take the borough’s health inspectors to task for their apparently sloppy work. What’s the point of having food hygiene regulations in place if local authorities can’t be bothered to enforce them.

    It’s not as if Which? set the bar particularly high – just three out of five, or a little over 50 per cent is deemed to be satisfactory.

    If Birmingham can achieve 4.9, so can we. Which? is right to demand that hygiene scores should be prominently displayed.

    And Croydon should be closing any food outlet that doesn’t score four out of five in surprise inspections – that would concentrate the minds of those food retailers whose grubby habits are a menace to everyone else.

  4. Its easy to criticise the health inspectors.

    The key question is, are there enough to do the wide range of jobs they are expected to carry out? How many of them are there? How many posts have been cut over the last five years?

    I wonder how many health inspectors Croydon currently has and how many have been shed in the last five years? There may not be enough to do the job they would themselves would expect to be able to do. It may be that the inspectors should blitz one of the lowest scoring areas in the borough; and then leaflet all the rest of the takeaways with the results, advice and warnings.

    The other approach is to hold a series of hygiene sessions in each area for owners and staff to help them get their acts together.

  5. Sean: get real.

    If we don’t have enough health inspectors, whose fault is that? Do you blame Council Tax-payers; or central government?

    Or do you blame Croydon Council for spending our money badly; for blowing more than £3 million on furniture in its new crystal palace of offices, but not employing enough inspectors to ensure our cafes, restaurants and takeaways are safe places to eat?

    Salmonella kills: public health is far more important than feeding councillors’ egos.

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