Diners vote with their feet to boycott dirty restaurants, says hygiene survey

Unhygienic restaurant dumb-waiter liftshaft revealed in a BBC survey, March 2016

Unhygienic restaurant dumb-waiter liftshaft revealed in a BBC survey, March 2016 - Credit: BBC

Hundreds restaurants and food outlets face losing customers in East London because of “poor food hygiene”, according to research.

Unhygienic restaurant dumb-waiter liftshaft revealed in a BBC survey, March 2016

Unhygienic restaurant dumb-waiter liftshaft revealed in a BBC survey, March 2016 - Credit: BBC

Restaurants need to clean-up their act and monitor their hygiene management to stay in business.

That’s according to a survey out today which has has found six-out-of-10 diners won’t eat at a restaurant, takeaway, greasy spoon, coffee shop or pub that has a low Food Standards Agency hygiene rating.

The analysis across London by Checkit hygiene management includes 257 Tower Hamlets businesses, or 14 per cent of the East End’s 1,900 outlets.

Three-quarters of the customers say they wouldn’t risk dining at a restaurant that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident.

Unhygienic restaurant dumb-waiter liftshaft revealed in a BBC survey, March 2016

Unhygienic restaurant dumb-waiter liftshaft revealed in a BBC survey, March 2016 - Credit: BBC


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“Food hygiene is now the main priority when eating out,” the company’s marketing chief Dee Roche said. “This should be a ‘wake up’ call for those restaurants with poor food hygiene ratings—they are risking the survival of their business as well as their customers’ health.”

Another 246 outlets face boycotts in neighbouring Shoreditch and Hackney, and a further 272 in Newham, the findings reveal.

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This adds to the total across London of more than 5,000 restaurants, cafés, canteens, mobile caterers, pubs, takeaways, sandwich shops and hotels having low food hygiene ratings.

Tower Hamlets council gets tough on unhygienic restaurants and takeaways, imposing hefty fines or even revoking trading licenses. One customer found a cockroach in his burger and chips at a takeaway last year. Health inspectors have dealt with several cases in recent years of kitchens found to have cockroach infestations or mice droppings.

But don’t think you can escape if you dine out ‘up west’—the survey found 528 outlets in the City of Westminster having poor hygiene ratings, although diners in Kensington and Chelsea do well with only 63 outlets under-scoring, just five in every 100.

Diners would rather put up with “poor service from rude and unhelpful staff” than eat at dirty restaurants, says the online Checkit survey and analysis from the Food Standards Agency.

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