Research by the consumer campaign group Which? has revealed that hundreds of hotels across the UK, including those with four and five star ratings, are failing basic food hygiene standards.

The research published this week reveals that 652 UK hotels including B&Bs and guest houses received an ‘improvement required’ or a food hygiene rating score of two or below under the English rating system. Poor hygiene standards were not limited to the bottom end of the market with hotel’s sporting two rosettes and four and five stars failing to meet adequate levels of food safety. Specifically, four-star Dean Court Hotel in York, part of the Best Western Premier Collection holds two AA rosettes, but hygiene inspectors found its kitchens in need of ‘major improvement’, awarding a rating of just ‘1’. London’s five-star Royal Horseguards hotel also has two AA Rosettes but a hygiene rating of just two. Which? presented these results to the hotels. Best Western blamed the score at Dean Court Hotel in York on ‘a previous chef’s administrative oversight and clerical error’. While Guoman Hotels, owner of The Royal Horseguards, told Which? that ‘a new senior management team immediately took action to improve standards’. Both businesses are currently awaiting re-inspection.

Researchers also found that some hotels were choosing not to display their ratings either on site or on line. Which? now supports the mandatory display of ratings for hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses across the UK, not only outside premises, but also on their websites.

While display of ratings is not required in Scotland and England it has been mandatory in Wales since 2013 and in Northern Ireland since October 2017.