Wetherspoon has the best food hygiene rating standards among the biggest pub chains – according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and highlighted in a feature by Which? Magazine (May 2020).
On the high street, Wetherspoon is top of the chart, with 97 per cent (Harvester and Toby Carvery, second and third, both with 82 per cent).
Only one casual dining restaurant chain (Wagamama) achieved a higher proportion of premises with top ratings (data from March 2020).
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme aims to highlight the level of hygiene standards in pubs, restaurants, take-aways, clubs and cafés across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The scheme, operated in partnership with local authorities, scores outlets 0–5, with the highest-possible rating of five meaning very good – excellent hygiene practices and safety systems in place.
In Scotland, it is the Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS) which operates.
A total of 793 of Wetherspoon pubs (across England, Wales and Northern Ireland) has a food hygiene rating.
Of these, 770 (97 per cent) have the highest-possible rating of five.
Overall, the average score for our pubs is 4.96.
Scotland’s FHIS operates a pass/improvement required method – with all 62 Wetherspoon pubs in Scotland having a ‘pass’ score – a 100-per-cent success rate.
The ratings are determined by local authority food safety officers, who visit outlets to assess hygiene levels.
Inspectors judge outlets on how hygienic and well managed the food preparation at the premises is, with each business benchmarked against the same criteria.
Environmental Health Officers will assess three areas. These are food hygiene and safety procedures, structural compliance and confidence in management.
To achieve the top rating, businesses must do well in all three of these elements.
The ratings (as well as the date of inspection) can be found online and on stickers which are displayed at business premises.
The company’s chief executive, John Hutson, said: “Food hygiene is of paramount importance to our customers – and rightly so.
“Our pub management and staff work hard to ensure that our pubs offer customers the highest level of food hygiene, at all times.
“We have 873 pubs, many of them open 16 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We always strive to attain the highest-possible ratings.”
To achieve the highest possible rating of five, our pub management and staff must achieve and maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene, including:
This is how food is prepared, cooked, cooled, reheated and stored and includes:
- checking fridge temperatures
- handwashing facilities and practices
- equipment used for raw and cooked foods being kept separate
- staff members’ understanding of food hygiene
Physical condition of the premises and facilities
This is the assessment of the standard of cleanliness and upkeep, including whether:
- the condition of general decoration, layout and lighting is of a good standard
- it is clean and whether cleaning materials meet requirements
- there is suitable ventilation and pest control
- rubbish and waste are disposed of correctly
Food safety management
This ensures that suitable precautions are taken to keep food safe, including:
- staff training records
- logs of relevant checks, such as fridge temperatures and cleaning
- safety procedure records