Just Eat is to start removing operators with food hygiene ratings of zero form its platform from 1 May.

As part of a £1m push to raise food hygiene and safety standards across the board, Just Eat will also set a minimum rating of 3 for any new addition to its roster.

Just Eat’s funding will also provide a bespoke improvement plan for any restaurant with a rating of two or below, delivered by consultants NSF. The package of support will include a one-to-one visit from an expert food safety practitioner, provision of an action plan on how to make any required improvements, access to resources and guidance on how to request a re-inspection from their local authority to gain a new FHRS rating. Zero-rated restaurants will also be offered additional follow-up support.

Graham Corfield, managing Director of Just Eat in the UK, said: “At Just Eat, we’re focused on helping the UK’s vibrant takeaway sector grow and thrive. We know that running a small, independent business is not without its challenges, and food hygiene and safety is a vital area that restaurants need to get right.

“This is why we have an ever-evolving programme of work dedicated to raising food safety standards across the entire takeaway sector. The vast majority of the UK’s takeaway restaurants have good food hygiene standards already, but today’s investment means those that need extra help can now access bespoke support for free.

“Helping our customers access brilliant food and supporting restaurants to prosper and grow is what Just Eat is here to do. This investment will help ensure the takeaway sector continues to improve and meet customers’ high expectations.”

The latest commitment from Just Eat follows its announcement in December 2018 of plans to include the official FSA food hygiene rating of each of its UK restaurant partners directly on its platform both in-app and online.

Displaying FSA ratings is currently underway in Northern Ireland and will be rolled out across the whole of the UK in the second half of the year.

Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency said: “I warmly welcome Just Eat’s significant new investment in food safety. The company influences thousands of food businesses and reaches millions of customers. Quite rightly, Just Eat is making clear that food safety and hygiene must be a top priority for all their partner businesses. I’m delighted that, from today, all new businesses joining the Just Eat platform must have a food hygiene rating of 3 or more and I strongly encourage Just Eat to apply the ‘minimum 3 rating’ across their platform as soon as practicable. This clear commitment to consumers - plus financial support from Just Eat for businesses to improve where they aren’t up to scratch - is the kind of leadership we expect and I believe it will drive up standards for the benefit of all.”