Another reason for publishing restaurant inspections!

A helpful reader sent me this page from the Food Standards Agency’s website. It reveals the results of the last Catering Workers Hygiene Survey carried out between 15 April and 25 May 2002. It was the largest-ever survey of food hygiene knowledge with more than 1,000 workers and managers in small independent catering businesses interviewed. Yet more proof that restaurant inspections should be made public.

The survey revealed that more than a third of staff (39%) are neglecting to wash their hands after visits to the lavatory while at work.

The research also demonstrated that half of all those interviewed (53%) did not appear to wash their hands before preparing food.

Just over half (55%) of the businesses in the survey had been in operation for under two years and two thirds (70%) employed up to four full time employees.

Less than two thirds (59%) of the catering workers questioned had a certificate in basic food hygiene.

Only 3% of catering managers interviewed said retaining skilled, trained staff was important to their business.

Only 32% believed good food hygiene practices were important to their business compared with 64% who saw good food as the key to keeping their customers.

It’s time local councils started protecting the public by publishing all inspection reports for restaurants, food businesses and market stalls. You can read my New Statesman article about restaurant inspections here.

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