Merseyside town named best for food hygiene in north west

Lord Street in Southport.
-Credit: (Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)

Merseyside is home to the town with the highest average food hygiene rating in the north west.

Towns and cities have been ranked across the north west for their food hygiene ratings in a report from online training provider High Speed Training. The report said it has analysed Food Standards Agency (FSA) data for over 215,000 food businesses across the UK.

The report found in the north west, the average food hygiene rating across all food establishments was 4.40 from over 27,000 premises, which places the region 7th in the national rankings. The top-rated place in the north west was Merseyside's own Southport, with an average rating of 4.91 from over 400 premises.

The coastal town also claimed the top spot in the country for the second consecutive year. Wigan came in as the lowest ranked place in the north west with an average of 3.92, while St Helens improved their rating more than any other town/city in the region, increasing by 0.1 to 4.26, placing them third from bottom in the north west

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It was also found that more than one in four takeaways in the north west scored three or lower in their food hygiene rating. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a partnership with local authorities across the UK and aims to provide customers with information about how well the business is abiding with food hygiene and safety standards.

Dr Richard Anderson, head of learning and development at High Speed Training said: "Food safety and robust hygiene practices should be of paramount importance to food businesses. Recently, we have seen many high profile cases of food poisoning and illnesses caused by food-borne bacteria.

"This is why food hygiene ratings are so important - they are a direct reflection of how safely and hygienically that establishment operates and are of critical importance to consumers.

"For businesses that perform well, a high rating is a real selling point. However, establishments with a low hygiene rating can be extremely off-putting for customers, which ultimately have a significant impact on reputation and profitability.

"Our report shows that, on average, standards remain high across the UK, and have improved from 2023. This commitment to correct food hygiene training for staff, alongside robust food management procedures and everyday good practices are crucial to keep performing at high standards.

"We would also urge customers to check the food hygiene ratings of establishments they wish to dine at, so that an informed call as to whether you eat there can be made."

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