The best and worst Yorkshire towns and cities for food hygiene ratings revealed

A new study has revealed the towns and cities in Yorkshire where businesses are keeping on top of food hygiene standards – and where some need to improve.

Harrogate has been named as the home of some of the cleanest eateries in the region, with Halifax scoring the lowest average rating in Yorkshire. On the whole, food hygiene standards have increased across the county in the past years.

A report by Ilkley-based training provider High Speed Training has shown 90 per cent of restaurants, cafes and canteens in Yorkshire and the Humber were given a four or five-star rating following a visit from food safety inspectors. The report analysed Food Standards Agency (FSA) data for over 230,000 food businesses in the UK.

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It found the average food hygiene rating for businesses in Yorkshire to be 4.51 stars out of five, making it the seventh-best region in the nation (out of 11). The study incorporated the scores of nearly 21,000 businesses in the county.

Let us know how your town or city scored – and how you feel about it – in the comments section below.

A similar report in 2019, undertaken by the same firm, calculated Yorkshire’s score at 4.38, showing that food hygiene standards have improved across the region since. But more than one in five takeaways across Yorkshire scored three stars or below (21.25 per cent).

Harrogate topped the Yorkshire rankings with an average score of 4.72 from over 300 premises. The town placed 12th in the national rankings for towns and cities after topping the 2019 list.

The lowest average rating in the region went to Halifax, with an average score of 4.22 from over 400 premises, meaning they rank 55th in the national rankings.

See below for the full list of Yorkshire rankings:

  1. Harrogate – 4.72 average rating from 309 businesses;
  2. Kingston upon Hull – 4.64 average rating from 925 businesses;
  3. Barnsley – 4.63 average rating from 379 businesses;
  4. Ripon – 4.61 average rating from 59 businesses;
  5. Rotherham – 4.61 average rating from 329 businesses;
  6. Wakefield – 4.61 average rating from 457 businesses;
  7. York – 4.55 average rating from 876 businesses;
  8. Sheffield – 4.49 average rating from 1,945 businesses;
  9. Leeds – 4.47 average rating from 1,958 businesses;
  10. Doncaster – 4.42 average rating from 585 businesses;
  11. Bradford – 4.27 average rating from 1,151 businesses;
  12. Huddersfield – 4.24 average rating from 710 businesses;
  13. Halifax – 4.22 average rating from 402 businesses.

Further detailed data shows close to 26 per cent of takeaways in Sheffield were given a food hygiene rating of three stars or below. Almost one in seven businesses across the city scored three stars or less. But, on average, more than 85 per cent of all businesses in the city scored four or five stars.

In Bradford, 30 per cent of takeaways or sandwich shops scored a measly rating of three stars or less. In contrast, 93 per cent of pubs, bars or nightclubs in the city scored four or five stars.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is a partnership with local authorities in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. The scheme aims to provide customers with information as to how well a business is upholding food hygiene and safety standards. Following regular inspections, ratings are devised based on the standard of food handling hygiene, the physical condition of the premises & facilities and food safety management practices.

These ratings are then made available on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website and are usually visible from outside of the premises, often presented in a window near the entrance. In Wales and Northern Ireland, it is compulsory for businesses to display their food hygiene rating. However, in England it is currently just considered best practice.

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