Ipswich restaurants have highest food hygiene ratings in East Anglia

Dhaka in Ipswich is one of many restaurants in the town with five-star ratings for food hygiene

Dhaka in Ipswich is one of many restaurants in the town with five-star ratings for food hygiene - Credit: Archant

Restaurants and takeaways in Ipswich have the highest ratings for food hygiene in all of East Anglia, a study has found.

Research from High Speed Training, which delivers courses in food hygiene and health and safety, has found eateries in Ipswich had an average rating of 4.88 from the Food Standards Agency from 444 premises.

This was the highest rating in the East and was the second highest throughout the UK – second only to Southport, in Merseyside, which scored 4.91.

The Fat Cat in Ipswich also has a five-star food hygiene rating

The Fat Cat in Ipswich also has a five-star food hygiene rating - Credit: Charlotte Bond

High Speed Training collated ratings from more than 230,000 locations across the country in its study.

Ipswich Borough Council, which businesses register with to sell food and drink, previously said there is a backlog of hygiene inspections owing to the Covid pandemic – meaning some locations have not been visited for a number of years.

Eilidh Paton, owner of Alba Food Safety Consultancy and chartered environmental health officer, said: "Food hygiene inspections and ratings are extremely important.

"From a legal perspective, they ensure businesses are compliant, but mostly, they are designed to help businesses provide safer food.

Nigel Seaman at Combat2Coffee, one of Ipswich's highest-rated coffee shops for food hygiene

Nigel Seaman at Combat2Coffee, one of Ipswich's highest-rated coffee shops for food hygiene - Credit: Archant

"It also gives consumers the assurance that businesses are safe to eat in as they are regularly inspected by competent officers.

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"These results certainly fit with my experience. Takeaways, on average, tend to have a lower rating for a large number of reasons, but mainly it is down to a much larger number of orders per day than say, a B&B would.

"It’s fast food, so the customer expects to get it quickly, leaving less time for staff to focus on cleaning and paperwork.

"Customers should be aware of food hygiene ratings, so they can spend their money in businesses that invest in their safety.

"They should be easier to access but I believe this could only be achieved by making it mandatory for businesses to display their ratings."