Welsh schools with worst food hygiene ratings revealed

Welsh Conservatives have uncovered the schools with the worst food hygiene ratings in Wales.

A freedom of information* request to each of Wales’ 22 local authorities has revealed that for the academic year 2016/17, four local authorities recorded schools under their control which were awarded the second lowest possible hygiene rating by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Of 10 schools awarded a ‘1’ for hygiene – on a scale of 0-5 (‘0’ meaning urgent improvement required, 5 meaning very good) – Powys Council confirmed that it had four schools within its authority which had been given this rating; Blaenau Gwent said it had three; and Cardiff listed two schools.

For Powys this included Llanfyllin Pre-school Playgroup, Ardwyn School, Little Acorns Nursery, and Ysgol Dyffryn Trannon; in Blaenau the schools were St Joseph’s Primary, Cwm Junior and Infants, and Brynmawr Foundation School; for Cardiff it was Whitchurch High School (Lower), and Clwb Carco within Ysgol y Wern.

While Newport Council confirmed just one of its schools – St Patrick’s RC Primary School – had been given a ‘1’ score by the FSA, it also disclosed that Lliswerry Primary School had in May this year been awarded a zero hygiene rating – the only school in Wales for 2017 to be handed such a score.

Blaenau Gwent council has the lowest number of schools (7) with a ‘5’ hygiene rating, accounting for just 23% of schools in the local authority area, down from 88% in the 2014/15 academic year.

Bridgend, Conwy and Denbighshire councils are the only local authorities in Wales where all schools have a ‘5’ hygiene rating.

Only half (11) of Wales’ local authorities were able to provide full data on food hygiene for the last three academic years.

Responding, Darren Millar AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“While I’m pleased to note that the vast majority of school kitchens have received good or excellent food hygiene ratings, it is a cause for concern that some schools have scored so poorly.

“Parents of pupils, and staff, in those schools with poor ratings will be alarmed to learn that standards are so low.

“School canteens and kitchens should meet the highest hygiene standards and councils should take immediate action where this is not the case.

He added:

“If Bridgend, Conwy and Denbighshire’s schools can all achieve excellent ratings then there can be no excuses in other parts of Wales.”