East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been named by Which? magazine as the top council in the region for the work it does on ensuring food is safe for the public.
The magazine has assessed up to 400 councils across the UK in the wake of the horse meat scandal and found that East Riding of Yorkshire Council came top in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
Which? assessed the councils on how good they were at enforcing food safety and hygiene rules on businesses and food outlets.
Councillor Jackie Cracknell, the council’s portfolio holder for community involvement and performance, said: “Most people going for a takeaway at the weekend or doing the weekly food shop don’t have the safety rules in mind.
“But we do and we take them very seriously. It is vital that food is safe to eat and the premises are up to the highest standard and well managed.
“Every year we carry out more than 2,000 inspections of food shops and businesses. About 93 per cent of those businesses pass the test but on the very odd occasion when they are not up to standard we take tough action.
“One of the reasons we did so well in this report is because we do more testing of food than other authorities. This is a good measure of the quality of the food is that is being sold across the East Riding.”
Last year the council closed eight shops and food premises and prosecuted four, including a Kilham butcher for selling meat unfit for eating, two takeaways in Goole takeaway for dirty conditions and a public house for selling counterfeit alcohol.
The council has a scoring sytem which allows residents to check up on those places where they buy food or eat out. The Food Hygiene Rating System gives a rating up to five to all food businesses and these can be checked on the council’s website, www.eastriding.gov.uk
Which? used the 2012/13 Local Authority Enforcement Monitoring System (LAEMS) hygiene database collected by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to rate 395 UK local authorities on the percentage of:
- High and medium-risk food businesses non-compliant with food hygiene requirements.
- Premises that have opened but not yet been visited and risk rated.
- Interventions required but not carried out.
- Each local authority was measured against the UK average and scored, with 50% weighting given to the percentage of non-compliant high and medium-risk premises and 25% each to the other markers.