Walsall has the worst average food hygiene rating of towns and cities in the UK, analysis of Environment Health ‘Scores on Doors' has revealed.
Analysis of official data by High Speed Training found that the town held an average rating from Environment Health Officers of 3.68 out of five for its 226 premises. The result places it below Birmingham's 2,645 sites and Luton's 456, which both held an average EHO star on the door ration of 3.78.
On the other end of the scale Harrogate was found to have the most consistently high-rated outlets - with an average rating of 4.85 beating out Hastings (4.82) and Southport (4.76).
On a regional level Northern Ireland was found to have the highest overall rating with an average of 4.59 out of five for food hygiene across more than 6,600 sites. The worst meanwhile was London, which not only had the most listed premises for any region with almost 32,000, but also had the lowest average rating with 4.02 out of five.
High Speed Training's Dr. Richard Anderson said: "Public consciousness around food hygiene is growing and it is crucial that restaurants and takeaways get it right. Just one poor inspection could really damage a business, and we work with hundreds of establishments to help address the challenges involved in running a food business.
"Whilst it's encouraging that the vast majority of restaurants and takeaways meet the minimum standards, it's concerning that overall ratings are decreasing. Our Food Hygiene: Know The Score report aims to provide both businesses and customers with the detail they need to make informed decisions and take informed actions when it comes to food standards."
The bottom 10 towns and cities for food hygiene:
1. Walsall, West Midlands (score: 3.68)
=2. Birmingham, West Midlands (score: 3.78)
=2. Luton, East Counties (score: 3.78)
3. Bolton, North West (score: 3.83)
=4. St Helens, North West (score: 3.86)
=4. Slough, South East (score: 3.86)
=4. Wigan, North West (score: 3.86)
5. West Bromwich, West Midlands (score: 3.88)
6. Southend-on-Sea, East Counties (score: 3.91)
7. Birkenhead, North West (score: 3.92)
The top 10:
1. Harrogate, Yorkshire and Humberside (score: 4.85)
2. Hastings, South East (score: 4.82)
3. Southport, North West (score 4.76)
4. Wells, South West (score: 4.72)
=5. Hartlepool, North East (score: 4.70)
=5. Crawley, South East (score: 4.70)
=6. Gloucester, South West (score: 4.69)
=6. Lincoln, East Midlands (score: 4.69)
=7. Carlisle, North West (score: 4.68)
=7. Chatham, South East (score: 4.68)