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article imageUber Eats delivers from restaurants with poor hygiene ratings

By Tim Sandle     Jun 27, 2019 in Health
Uber Eats has said it will review its approach to food safety after a television show highlighted how easy it is to serve food from the delivery firm’s app. Furthermore, the company has been providing food from establishments with a poor hygiene rating.
Uber Eats app arranges the delivery of takeaways to homes, and it is becoming increasingly popular along with other food-as-a-service offerings. While Uber Eats ostensibly has a policy in place that says it will not provide a service from food establishments that have a poor hygiene rating, a report finds that one in five eateries with a zero hygiene rating located in London was featured on the company’s website (at the time when the investigation took place, which was in January, 2019).
These concerns were highlighted in a Channel 4 television show called Got Your Back, which focused on Uber Eats operations in the U.K. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (used in England and Wales takes into consideration three aspects of each food-related business and its operations: Hygiene, Structural and Management. The assessment of these leads to a final score being produced (from zero to five, with five meaning 'very goof' and zero meaning "Urgent Improvement Necessary"). Uber Eats' policy is not to use places that serve or prepare food with ratings of zero or one.
However, the investigation reveals that Uber Eats have been using a wide range of food places that have been assessed by municipal environmental health officers as having poor hygiene. This goes against what customers will have been expecting.
An Uber spokesperson has responded by saying: “Uber Eats takes food safety very seriously. All restaurants who partner with Uber Eats must comply with UK food safety laws and regulations, which includes being registered with their local authority. It is also a requirement that all restaurant partners must hold, or be in the process of obtaining, a Food Hygiene Rating of 2 or above to be on the Uber Eats app."
The Uber statement continues: “If any restaurant is found to have fallen to a zero rating we take immediate action to restrict their access to the app...we are actively working in consultation to review our food safety processes. We aim to better signpost food hygiene ratings on the app and prevent this issue from happening again.”
A further concern with Uber Eats relates to the way that a fake restaurant was set up, by BBC journalists. This was an establishment with no hygiene rating or evidence of a premises inspection. Once established, the BBC journalists were able to process orders with no identity checks, bank details or food hygiene rating.
In response, Uber Eats stated that the company was was “deeply concerned by the breach of food safety policy” and that it has revised its procedures. From now on all new sign-ups must be verified for a valid food hygiene rating.
More about uber eats, Food hygiene, Quality control
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