Just Eat restaurants ‘failing on allergens and hygiene’
A number of restaurants listed on Just Eat, the biggest online food delivery app in Britain, have been selling food that could cause allergic reactions, an investigation has found.
More than 100 restaurants on Just Eat were also found to have hygiene ratings of zero, despite some being promoted by the app as the “creme de la creme” of takeaways in their area.
In an investigation by the BBC’s Panorama, one restaurant was unable to provide even basic, legally required allergen information when asked by a reporter. All food businesses are legally required to provide information about 14 major allergens, some of which can be life threatening. But Just Eat does not require restaurants to provide any allergen information on the app or website. Customers are expected to contact the restaurants directly to find out if a meal is suitable.
A restaurant contacted by Panorama in Greater Manchester, Tong Feng House, had five-star customer reviews on Just Eat but research showed it also had a hygiene rating of zero from the Food Standards Agency.
An undercover reporter was assured by a Tong Feng House employee over the phone that the chicken chow mein meal did not contain any wheat, which can cause severe allergic reactions. However, tests revealed the meal had a high wheat content.
Tong Feng House told the programme a new staff member had provided the incorrect information and it was retraining its team.
A restaurant in Birmingham, which also had a zero hygiene rating, sold a burger to a reporter that it said did not contain any wheat. Testing showed it contained gluten, a general name for the proteins found in wheat, which can cause an allergic reaction.
Just Eat has launched an investigation, and said it was concerned restaurants were not providing accurate information. “We have already offered further support and training,” it added.
The app listed more than 100 takeaways with zero hygiene ratings, and some were promoted or labelled as “local legends”. This title is for the “creme de la creme” of takeaways in a particular area, according to Just Eat.