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UK diners suspect poor hygiene practices

Published 30th November, 2011 by Neil Nixon

UK diners suspect poor hygiene practices

The British are not convinced about the hygiene standards of staff in restaurants and fast-food chains, a new survey has revealed. 16% fear that chefs regularly fail to wash their hands before handling food. And one in five suspect that staff will still serve up food after it has been dropped on to the floor.

These were among the results of the Tork Toilet Barometer, an annual survey of washroom trends commissioned by Tork manufacturer SCA to coincide with World Toilet Day. A total of 4000 Europeans took part in the survey, including 500 from the UK.

The study showed that 65% of UK diners have walked out of a restaurant because it had a grubby appearance. Meanwhile 88% suspect that if a restaurant toilet is dirty, the same standards will be reflected in the kitchen. And nearly a quarter of UK respondents (22%) said the cleanliness of the toilet was a significant factor for them when visiting a restaurant.

“Hand hygiene is not rocket science - but it is crucial in a restaurant,” said SCA product and segment manager, Julie Ray. “Diners need to feel confident about the hygiene standards in an eating establishment or they will simply not stay. And one way in which restaurants can help to instill this confidence is by providing clean, hygienic toilets equipped with single-use paper towels and soaps in sealed cartridge systems.”

The British are most sceptical about hygiene standards at fast food chains, with 28% claiming to find these either dirty or very dirty.

Upper-end restaurants and sushi bars received the best rating with more than two-thirds of respondents claiming these to be generally either clean or very clean.

On a European scale, the survey revealed the Polish to have the greatest concern about restaurant cleanliness with a massive 85% claiming to have walked out of a restaurant because it did not seem to be clean.

At the other end of the scale, the Finnish have greater confidence in their restaurant industry with 94% believing kitchen staff to wash their hands after visiting the washroom and only 8% accepting that staff may use food they pick up from the floor.

The ‘Barometer of Public Washroom Opinion’ is carried out every year to coincide with World Toilet Day on 19 November. World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of sanitation and highlight the plight of the 2.6 billion people globally who have no access to toilets.

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