< More news Wetherspoon rated top for food hygiene Our pubs are squeaky clean 03 Mar 2021 • Wetherspoons news Wetherspoon’s pubs consistently top the charts in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS), among the biggest pub chains. The FHRS is run by local authorities and is the only independent government scheme assessing the level of hygiene standards in pubs, restaurants, take-aways, clubs and cafés. It scores outlets 0–5, with the highest-possible rating of five meaning ‘very good’ hygiene practices and safety systems in place, fully complying with the law. Outlets with a rating of four are deemed to have ‘good’ hygiene standards, while three is ‘generally satisfactory’, two needs ‘some improvement’, a rating of one requires ‘major improvement’ and 0 ‘urgent improvement’. Wetherspoon had the highest average FHRS rating, per premises, of any large pub company. It was ahead of pub companies including Slug & Lettuce and Walkabout and was also rated higher than restaurant and sandwich chains, including Miller & Carter, Pizza Express, TGI Fridays, Pret a Manger and Greggs – although all of those companies also scored highly. Of our pubs, 793 currently have an FHRS rating, with 97 per cent of those having achieved the highest-possible rating of five. Scotland operates the Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS). This scheme has a pass/fail rating – with 65 Wetherspoon pubs in Scotland having a ‘pass’ score – a 100-per-cent success rate. The ratings for both FHRS and FHIS follow an independent assessment of food hygiene at a premises, determined by local authority environmental health officers visiting outlets to assess hygiene levels. Environmental health officers assess three areas: food hygiene and safety procedures; structural compliance; confidence in management. The ratings (as well as the date of inspection) can be found online and on stickers displayed at businesses’ premises. Wetherspoon’s audit director, James Ullman, said: “We are proud of our pubs’ hygiene ratings. However, we also take it extremely seriously when a pub does not achieve the maximum rating in either scheme. “Where a maximum score is not achieved, we work hard with each pub’s team and local authority to ensure, as quickly as possible, that standards are returned to expected levels.” To achieve the highest-possible rating of five, our pubs’ management and staff must achieve and maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene, including: Hygienic food-handling This is how food is prepared, cooked, cooled, reheated and stored: • checking fridge temperatures • hand-washing facilities and practices • equipment used for raw and cooked foods being kept separately • 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 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 fridges’ temperatures and cleaning • safety procedure records Did you know? As well as the independent assessments by the FHRS across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the FHIS in Scotland, Wetherspoon also monitors its own pub hygiene standards. Every pub receives at least five quality-assurance visits each month from a combination of its area manager, Wetherspoon’s own audit department, an external ‘mystery shopper’ company and other head-office managers.