DELIVEROO and Just Eat have been found to be selling takeaways from 400 restaurants with one star hygiene ratings.
This means their standards are in need of “major improvement”, according to hygiene scores set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
4 Deliveroo has been selling food from several hundreds of restaurants with a 0 ratingCredit: Alamy
An investigation by the BBC compared the FSA database of restaurants and takeaways awarded a hygiene rating of one with listings that were available to households on Deliveroo and Just Eat in mid-May.
It found 404 takeaways in Birmingham, London and Manchester with the low score, with many of them appearing on both platforms.
The research into Just Eat found that 259 takeaways had a one rating; 50 in Manchester, 57 in Birmingham and 152 in London.
Meanwhile, Deliveroo was found to have listed 251 restaurants with the same rating. Of these, 23 were in Manchester, 20 in Birmingham and 208 in London.
4 One restaurant on Deliveroo and Just Eat had mice droppings in the main kitchen areaCredit: BBC News
There were also 21 outlets which had been given the lowest possible hygiene rating of zero – in need of “urgent improvement” – 18 on Deliveroo and three on Just Eat.
Despite this, the worst-rated eateries for hygiene often had high customer review scores.
On Deliveroo, the average score for a restaurant with a zero or one hygiene rating was 4.2 out of five.
While Just Eat listings with a one hygiene rating scored an average of 4.7 out of six.
BBC declined to name the restaurants when contacted by The Sun.
But in a report aired on BBC at Ten yesterday, the broadcaster visited the premises of The Chippy in Newport, South Wales.
At a 0 rating, the takeaway had traces of mice and mice droppings in the main food preparation area.
After a full refurbishment, it achieved a rating of five.
The Sun has contacted The Chippy but we’ve yet to receive a response.
4 An inspector examines the sink at The ChippyCredit: BBC News
Separately, BBC News successfully registered its own takeaway on the Uber Eats platform with no hygiene inspection.
By allowing low-rated outlets on platforms, delivery companies are “undermining trust in food”, says Heather Hancock, chairwoman of the FSA.
“They’re not helping drive up standards, they’re not doing the consumer a service. Convenience is fantastic but convenience at what cost?”
In her view, delivery companies should not accept restaurants with a hygiene rating below three, which is “generally satisfactory”.
Research by the FSA said ratings of zero to two are associated with higher levels of food-borne illness.
All you need to know about food hygiene ratingsFOOD outlets in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are graded by the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).The scheme ranks hygiene on a scale of zero to five, with five being the best.
For a premises to be given a rating of one, inspectors might find dirty surfaces and poor food handling.
Rating of zero: Urgent improvement required
Rating of one: Major improvement necessary
Rating of two: Some improvement necessary
Rating of three: Generally satisfactory
Rating of four: Good
Rating of five: Very good
Restaurants in Scotland are ranked using the Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS), where they’ll get either a “pass” or an “improvement required” result.
The news has also sparked concerns at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), which has urged the platforms to drive up food hygiene standards.
Kate Thompson, Wales director at CIEH, said: “We have been working positively with Just Eat and we know that they, and other platforms, are working hard to drive up food hygiene standards and are fully aware of their unique responsibility in this area.
“However, it is disappointing that outlets with the minimum FSA rating are still prevalent on these platforms.
“Now is the time for these companies to further demonstrate their commitment to improving food hygiene and continue to deliver tangible progress.”
4 Just Eat had listed three restaurants with a 0 rating on its platformCredit: Alamy
Just Eat and Deliveroo say zero-rated restaurants aren’t allowed on the sites, while Deliveroo says it also doesn’t list one star sites.
Deliveroo also says that restaurants with a rating of zero are immediately removed, while those with a rating of one will be given 21 days to improve.
But both concede the restaurants the BBC found had slipped through their safety net.
A spokesperson for Just Eat: “Restaurants with a food hygiene rating of zero or one are allowed to trade on the high street, meaning that customers can walk into any of these outlets and order food directly.
“We do not allow zero-rated restaurants to trade on the Just Eat platform, and are also investing more than £1million in a bespoke improvement programme for restaurants with a food hygiene rating of below three.
“Wherever we’re made aware of any specific cases of restaurants not meeting our standards, we will take immediate action to remove.
“From next month, we will be displaying every restaurant’s food hygiene rating, directly from the FSA, in our app and website, nationwide.”
Meanwhile a spokesperson for Deliveroo added: “Food safety is an absolute priority for our company and we know our customers would expect nothing less.
“Our hygiene policy requires that restaurants maintain a minimum of two stars in order to list on Deliveroo.
“We conduct regular checks to remove restaurants who fall below the high standards we expect and restaurants are contractually obliged to inform us if they drop below our required ratings.”
Uber Eats said it was “deeply concerned by the breach of food safety policy” and now demands that all new sign-ups have a valid food hygiene rating.