Just Eat restau­rants ‘fail­ing on al­ler­gens and hy­giene’

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Sarah Marsh

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.

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