European diners suspect poor hygiene practices

14th of November 2011
European diners suspect poor hygiene practices

Diners across Europe are not convinced about the hygiene standards of staff in restaurants and fast-food chains, a new survey has revealed.

Many fear chefs regularly fail to wash their hands before handling food, while others suspect staff will still serve up food after it has been dropped on to the floor.

These were among the results of the Tork Toilet Barometer, an annual survey of washroom trends commissioned by Tork manufacturer SCA to coincide with World Toilet Day. A total of 4,000 people took part from Germany, the UK, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.
In Poland, 85 per cent of people have opened the door to a restaurant and decided not to go in because it didn't seem clean. This was followed by Sweden at 79 per cent; Germany at 73 per cent; France at 66 per cent; the UK at 65 per cent; Finland at 61 per cent; Belgium at 58 per cent; and the Netherlands at 53 per cent.

When asked which hygiene aspect is most important when visiting a restaurant, an average of 59 per cent of survey participants said the premises should look clean and tidy. This was followed by the toilets being cleaned, with an average of just over 30 per cent; and being able to see into the kitchens at average of 10.5 per cent.

A majority of respondents suspect that if the toilet is dirty, the kitchen will be dirty too - on average just under 85 per cent. An average of just under 81 per cent believe that kitchen staff and chefs wash their hands before cooking, and the majority also think they wash their hands after using the toilet. They are not so confident, however, about staff not using food that has fallen on the floor.

The Barometer of Public Washroom Opinion is carried out every year to coincide with World Toilet Day on November 19. This year's survey was conducted by Netigate and focuses on how the public perceives hygiene in restaurants.


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