Food app Just Eat to list zero star hygiene ratings in Northern Ireland trial
Just Eat, the popular food ordering app, is to start using 'scores on the doors' food hygiene ratings in a Northern Ireland trial.
Takeaway outlets with a zero rating for hygiene are routinely listed on Just Eat, a new investigation has revealed.
Half of food businesses with zero ratings from the Food Standards Agency in Manchester, Bristol and London are included on the platform.
In total, 20 out of 31 takeaway shops listed on the app in Birmingham were found by a BBC investigation to have zero ratings. Nine out of 13 outlets with the rating were included in Liverpool.
The firm said in a statement that it took the issue of food hygiene "very seriously".
Just Eat includes a link to the Food Standards Agency website for each listed outlet at the bottom of its menu and also on its information page. But it does not display the hygiene rating for each individual restaurant.
A spokesperson said Just Eat will "soon be launching a trial to display food hygiene ratings on our platform across Northern Ireland".
"We actively work to raise standards, for example we now offer free accredited food hygiene training and certification to any restaurant that signs up to our platform," a statement added.
Local authorities bear the responsibility for inspecting food outlets and each is given a food hygiene rating ranging from zero to five in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Outlets with the top rating are considered to have "very good" food hygiene, but those rated zero are "in need of urgent improvement".
Restaurants in Wales and Northern Ireland are required to display their ratings prominently.
In England it is not compulsory, but many outlets still choose to share their score.
"Whenever any potential food safety issues are brought to our attention our restaurant compliance team will review, investigate and liaise with the relevant local authority and Environmental Health Officers," a spokesperson from Just Eat said.
The company has had a strong 2018 and beat market expectations in the first quarter of the year, in which it reported revenue of £177m.
Just Eat received 29.7 million food orders in that period, including 1.4m through Hungry House, which the company bought last year.