Which? survey puts North Lanarkshire top for food hygiene

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 11:05 on 8 March 2015

North Lanarkshire Councl

Which? conducted the research. Logo: copyright of Which?

IF YOU are looking to eat out in North Lanarkshire then you will be able to take solace in a recent survey by the consumer group Which? that ranked the region as having the best standards of food hygiene of all Scottish councils.

Which? revealed last month that food hygiene is a postcode lottery throughout the UK , though the best performing local authorities in the UK are Cherwell in North Oxfordshire and Brentwood in Essex.

As part of the research, Which? assessed 398 local authorities throughout Britain, using the data they submitted to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on the levels of high and medium risk businesses that are compliant with food hygiene requirements. 

The consumer intelligence group also took the number of planned interventions achieved and the number of food businesses not yet rated into account when compiling the information. 

Out of the 398 local authorities looked at, North Lanarkshire scored 42nd, with all planned interventions carried out; 98.7% of food premises rated for risk; and, 90.4% of A,B,& C rated premises deemed broadly compliant.

The result means that North Lanarkshire is the best performing local authority when it comes to food hygiene – an achievement based on good practices in local businesses as well as strong guidance and enforcement by the council’s Business regulation service, according to North Lanarkshire Council.

Councillor Helen McKenna, Convener of Environmental Services welcomed the news.

"This is excellent news for consumers in North Lanarkshire, as well as the council and local businesses," she said. 

"Our Environmental Health Officers carry out regular inspections on all premises in North Lanarkshire that sell food, looking at food hygiene practices, procedures and records. They work with businesses to provide advice and support in maintaining good hygiene standards.

"Using the Food Hygiene Information Scheme, consumers can now quickly find this information about their favourite restaurants, cafes or shops, giving peace of mind about their hygiene standards.

"This report reflects the excellent work done by our Environmental Health team and the council's commitment to ensuring the highest possible food safety standards across North Lanarkshire."

Commenting on the national results, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said: “Consumers expect local authorities to check that food businesses in their area comply with hygiene standards and rigorously enforce the rules.”

He added: “Local authorities should do more to make the best use of limited resources, respond effectively to risks across the food supply chain and ensure consumers are adequately protected wherever they live.”