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160 Bromley food businesses 'risk losing customers'

PUBLISHED: 15:02 16 May 2016 | UPDATED: 15:02 16 May 2016

Takeaways are one of the worst offenders when it comes to food hygiene

Takeaways are one of the worst offenders when it comes to food hygiene

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New research reveals consumers' sensitivity to food hygiene ratings

Poor food hygiene ratings mean 160 Bromley businesses - 15 per cent of the total - face losing over half their customers, according to a new study.

Research and analysis by Checkit reveals 61 per cent of consumers say they won’t eat at a restaurant, takeaway coffee shop or pub that has a low Food Standards Agency (FSA) food hygiene rating.

Three quarters of those surveyed would not risk dining at a restaurant that has been implicated in a food hygiene incident, even if recommended by someone they trust.

Across London, 5,168 London businesses selling food (13 per cent of the total), have low food hygiene ratings.

Newham has the worst standards, with 31 per cent having a food hygiene rating of two or below, including more than half (51 per cent) of takeaways and sandwich shops.

At the other end of the scale, Kensington and Chelsea had the lowest number of poorly rated premises, each with five per cent receiving a rating of two or below.

Takeaways and sandwich shops were the worst offenders, with 22 per cent classed as requiring some form of improvement.

“Food hygiene is now the number one priority for consumers when eating out, meaning our research should act as a wake up call for those restaurants in London with poor food hygiene ratings,” said Dee Roche, marketing director at Checkit.net.

“As well as the health of their customers they are risking the survival of their business – few of them could cope with 61% of diners boycotting their restaurant. These findings show why food safety is priority – customers rate hygiene as the number one reason, above service or rude staff when it comes to choosing whether to return to a restaurant.”

The research also found that diners would rather put up with poor service from rude and unhelpful staff than eat at dirty restaurants.

Two-thirds of respondents rated unclean or dirty premises as the first or second reason for not returning to a restaurant, with 16 per cent citing slow or poor service and 32 per cent rude and unhelpful staff.

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