Just Eat is set to roll out a nationwide food safety improvement programme for the UK’s takeaway sector with a commitment of £1 million to raise hygiene and safety standards.
Under the scheme all zero-rated restaurants will be removed from the platform from 1 May, and restaurants with a food hygiene rating of 2 or lower will receive funding to get up to the required level.
All new restaurant sign-ups will have to meet the minimum standard of FHRS rating of 3.
Just Eat has more than 6,000 London outlets on the app.
Delivered by NSF, the leading global food safety consultants, the package of support will include a one-to-one visit from an expert food safety practitioner and the provision of a detailed action plan on how to make any required improvements.
Takeaway owners will also be given access to resources and guidance on how to request a re-inspection from their local authority to gain a new FHRS rating.
Just Eat already offers food hygiene and safety training to every restaurant that signs up to its platform free of charge.
Graham Corfield, Managing Director of Just Eat in the UK, commented: “At Just Eat, we’re focused on helping the UK’s vibrant takeaway sector grow and thrive.
“We know that running a small, independent business is not without its challenges, and food hygiene and safety is a vital area that restaurants need to get right.
“This is why we have an ever-evolving programme of work dedicated to raising food safety standards across the entire takeaway sector.
“The vast majority of the UK’s takeaway restaurants have good food hygiene standards already, but today’s investment means those that need extra help can now access bespoke support for free.
“Helping our customers access brilliant food and supporting restaurants to prosper and grow is what Just Eat is here to do.
“This investment will help ensure the takeaway sector continues to improve and meet customers’ high expectations.”
Just Eat announced in December 2018 that it will include the official food hygiene rating of each of its UK restaurant partners directly on its platform both in-app and online. Displaying food hygiene ratings is currently underway in Northern Ireland and will be rolled out across the whole of the UK in the coming months.
It also continues to make significant updates to its API so that a restaurant’s food hygiene rating will automatically update if it changes following a local authority inspection.
This means Just Eat will receive a notification if a restaurant falls below a hygiene rating of 3 so that it can contact the restaurant to offer access to the new food safety programme.
Access to Level 2 food hygiene training and certification has also been on offer to every business on the platform since 2016, and in 2018 Just Eat partnered with Checkit, a digital food safety management software provider, to allow restaurants to access new digital food safety systems at industry-leading rates.
Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency said: “I warmly welcome Just Eat’s significant new investment in food safety.
“The company influences thousands of food businesses and reaches millions of customers.
“Quite rightly, Just Eat is making clear that food safety and hygiene must be a top priority for all their partner businesses.
“I’m delighted that, from today, all new businesses joining the Just Eat platform must have a food hygiene rating of 3 or more and I strongly encourage Just Eat to apply the ‘minimum 3 rating’ across their platform as soon as practicable.
“This clear commitment to consumers – plus financial support from Just Eat for businesses to improve where they aren’t up to scratch – is the kind of leadership we expect and I believe it will drive up standards for the benefit of all.”