Just Eat has promised to spend around £1 million to raise food hygiene and safety standards across the UK takeaway sector. Under the new programme, the company promises to work with any restaurant on its platform with an official Food Hygiene Rating of zero, one or two to help them improve their rating. Any zero-rated restaurant which does not improve its score by May 1st 2019 will be removed from the Just Eat platform until they do so.
Just Eat’s funding will provide a customer specific improvement plan for any restaurant with a rating of two or below, delivered by NSF, a leading firm of food safety consultants. The package of support will include a one-to-one visit from an expert food safety practitioner, provision of a detailed action plan on how to make any required improvements, access to resources and guidance on how to request a re-inspection from their local authority to gain a new FHRS rating. Zero-rated restaurants will also be offered additional follow-up support. Just Eat points out that it already offers food hygiene and safety training to every restaurant that signs up to its platform free of charge.
In addition, any restaurant seeking to sign up to the Just Eat platform from now on will be required to have a minimum Food Hygiene Rating of three by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) or be registered and awaiting inspection by the local authority.
The latest commitment from Just Eat follows its announcement last December of plans to include the official FSA food hygiene rating of each of its UK restaurant partners directly on its platform both in-app and online. Just Eat continues to make significant updates to its app so that a restaurant’s FSA rating will automatically update if it changes following a local authority inspection. This means Just Eat will receive a notification if a restaurant falls below a rating of 3 so that it can quickly contact the restaurant to offer access to the new food safety programme. Displaying FSA ratings is currently underway in Northern Ireland and will be rolled out across the whole of the UK in the coming months.
Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, welcomed the initiative: “Quite rightly, Just Eat is making clear that food safety and hygiene must be a top priority for all their partner businesses. I’m delighted that, from today, all new businesses joining the Just Eat platform must have a food hygiene rating of 3 or more and I strongly encourage Just Eat to apply the ‘minimum 3 rating’ across their platform as soon as practicable. This clear commitment to consumers – plus financial support from Just Eat for businesses to improve where they aren’t up to scratch – is the kind of leadership we expect and I believe it will drive up standards for the benefit of all.”