Unsafe food hygiene at 125 care homes and six hospitals in damning new figures

More than 125 care homes had kitchens with unsafe food hygiene standards, according to official figures.

Ratings by the Food Standards Authority cover handling of food, safety and cleanliness observed during spot checks.

Six hospitals and 97 universities, colleges, schools and nurseries are also among the public institutions included in the FSA poor standards list.

All the cases scored between 0-2 on a five-point scale – which means the kitchens could be legally forced to close.

Analysis of agency data last month showed hospitals were rated most poorly on “handling of food” and care homes on “management of food safety”.

The FSA does not identify individual sites or action taken.

London proved the worst area with 46 cases, followed by the West Midlands with 39, the North West with 30 and Yorkshire and Humber, also with 30.

Wales recorded 23 cases of poor food standards in care homes and other facilities for vulnerable people. There are an estimated 12,000 care homes in England.

Mike Padgham, chief executive of the Independent Care Group, said: “This must be seen in perspective given the number of homes. Infringements are usually relatively minor and rectified quickly.

“But we are dealing with elderly, vulnerable people so one example of poor hygiene is one too many.

“The sector must do its best to eradicate all poor standards everywhere.”

Heather Brannigan, of research group MyJobQuote, which conducted the analysis, said: “We can’t believe so many care homes and other care institutions have such bad hygiene standards.

“The public should be able to trust that loved ones are getting the best possible care.”