It is generally assumed that hotels in the UK have pretty high standards but the truth is hundreds of hotels including a 5-star property in Central London with rooms that cost £191 per night have poor hygiene ratings. The hotels were able to conceal their scores from guests because in England and Scotland, it is not mandatory to display ratings.
Based on the investigations of consumer group Which? it was revealed that 652 hotels, guesthouses and bed & breakfasts have failed the hygiene inspections conducted by Food Standards Agency (FSA). Examples of hotels with poor hygiene ratings include 5-star Royal Horseguards in London that scored 2 out of 5 in food hygiene and Dean Court Hotel in York that has food hygiene rating of one. In Novotel at Birmingham City Centre, FAS inspectors found flies in the areas where food is prepared and poor cleanliness was apparent throughout.
Dean Court Hotel claims a clerical error made by a previous chef while Royal Horseguards has taken action to improve.
In behalf of local councils of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, environmental health officers started to rate food businesses from 0 to 5 with 0 requiring urgent improvements and 5 meaning high standards. The results can be found on the FSA website and establishments are provided with a sticker that should be displayed in front of the premises. However, since this requirement is not mandatory in England and Scotland, customers are not aware of hygiene standards.
The FSA with the support of Which? is building a case to require the mandatory display of food hygiene ratings in England and Scotland that would bring them in line with Wales and Northern Ireland. If the display is required, it would be an incentive for a food business to improve particularly since more than 90% of hotel guests eat at least one meal during an overnight accommodation.
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