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< More news

High-flying pubs put the high in hygiene

• Wetherspoons News

High-flying pubs put the high in hygiene

Average rating of 4.99 out of 5, scored at 762 pubs, puts Wetherspoon above comparable operators

Wetherspoon has, once again, scored highly in the latest food hygiene rating league table (, as at 8 June 2023.

Among the biggest pub chains, Wetherspoon’s pubs consistently top the charts in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).

The company’s pubs in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have an average food hygiene rating of 4.99.

The FHRS – the only independent government scheme assessing the level of hygiene standards in pubs, restaurants, take-aways, clubs and cafés – is run by local authorities.

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 requires ‘urgent improvement’.

Wetherspoon was ahead of pub companies such as Hungry Horse and Nicholson’s and was also rated higher than restaurant and sandwich chains, including Pizza Express, Nando’s, McDonald’s and Greggs – although all of those companies also scored highly.

Of our pubs, 762 currently have an FHRS rating, with 99.08 per cent of those achieving the highest-possible rating of five.

FHRS ratings follow an independent assessment of food hygiene at the various premises, determined by local authority environmental health officers visiting venues 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 personnel and 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.
“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 record
Did you know?
As well as the independent assessments by the FHRS across England, Northern Ireland and Wales (in Scotland, it’s the Food Hygiene Information Scheme), Wetherspoon monitors its own
pub hygiene standards.

Monthly, each pub receives at least five quality-assurance visits from a combination of its area manager, Wetherspoon’s own audit department, an external ‘mystery shopper’ company and
other head-office managers.