Written by Craig Fowler
Did you know that in the UK around a million people suffer a food borne illness every year?, but this is the 'tip of the iceberg' with the number of unreported cases meaning it is likely to be much higher!
Around 20,000 people receive hospital treatment due to food borne illness, there are around 500 deaths caused by food borne illness and it costs us nearly £1.5 billion (*1) these are worrying statistics and is it any wonder that consumers are naturally cautious when buying or consuming food?!
So why is your food hygiene rating going to affect your profits?
According to recent Food Standards Agency research (Food & You Survey), When shown a list of factors which might influence their decision on where to eat out, 72% of respondents reported that the cleanliness and hygiene of the establishment was important to them; overall a third (30%) of respondents who ate out considered this the most important factor. 86% of the public considered hygiene standards to be more important than price or location!
So it's clearly an important factor when your customers make informed choices about where they eat and buy food. Food Hygiene Ratings are publicly available on the website and Food hygiene rating App. There's growing public awareness and interest in food hygiene ratings, with customers also looking for rating stickers on windows, menus etc.
Having a higher food hygiene rating will help your reputation and the number of customers choosing you! There have been recent cases where businesses receiving a Zero or 'one' food hygiene rating, get lots of customer and media attention having a devastating effect on the business. As the saying goes, it takes a long time to earn a good reputation but minutes to lose it!
A recent study (*2) found that only 1 in 20 consumers would not be influenced by the businesses food hygiene rating, 88% were in favour of making the display of food hygiene ratings mandatory in England (The Food Standards Agency are currently campaigning for this) and more concern even if a business made improvements and received a better food hygiene rating a significant quantity would lose trust and potentially take their business elsewhere.
38% of respondents to this study stated that any establishment which scored 3 or less would be personally unacceptable to them.
If you are not already convinced , add the potential of civil claims , enforcement action, fines, uninsured losses, increased insurance premiums, dissatisfied customers and the 'power' of social media! If your procedures are not effective this might lead to wasted food, pest control problems and poor morale of your staff!
So that's why good food hygiene ratings are good for business profits!
1- Food Standards Agency - Food & You Survey
2- NFU Mutual - Food Hygiene Ratings Report