Last updated: 28.06.19

Uber Eats tightens hygiene standards for partners after BBC fake takeaway exposé

Uber Eats has recently come under fire after the BBC was able to establish a fake takeaway using their platform without valid food hygiene credentials or identity checks.

This week, the BBC released a video which detailed how they were able to set up a takeaway, called Best Burger Corporation, using the Uber Eats platform by setting up a grill in a front garden and registering to partner with them.

The BBC stated that the aim of their investigation was ‘to see how easy it was to trade on the Uber Eats platform’. After entering a fake takeaway name and menu, the reporter was asked whether they had a council food hygiene rating by the online application form, to which the BBC said they would get one soon. After waiting a few days, Uber Eats accepted their application and sent them the necessary equipment needed to start trading on their platform. At this point, no verification checks had been done by Uber Eats and the BBC’s fake takeaway was able to successfully process an order without a food hygiene certificate.

An expert opinion

The order was placed by food safety expert Mark McGlinn at the request of the BBC reporter, who described the situation as “shocking”. He went on to say “I am astonished by what I saw, but also very, very alarmed…we’re in desperate times, it seems to me, if very large food delivery platforms can be operating in this way”.

The BBC also followed up their report by contacting Heather Hancock, Chair of the Food Standards Agency, who said: “I am almost speechless with horror about that”. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is an independent government body who outline the rules and regulations that any business operating within the food industry should follow in order to establish consumer confidence in the food they purchase within the catering and hospitality industry.

Uber Eats cleans up its approach

After receiving the findings of the report from the BBC, Uber Eats issued a statement:

“We are deeply concerned by this breach of our food safety policy and have taken immediate action to update our sign-up requirements. It is unacceptable that a restaurant that did not meet our requirements was able to use the platform. We are working hard to ensure this does not happen again.”

Having rigorous food hygiene standards is an important part of owning a business operating within the food industry, ensuring that consumers can trust your brand and the food that’s served to not be dangerous. Poor food hygiene standards can come as a result of improper food handling, cross-contamination and incorrect cooking processes. Virtual College has comprehensive e-learning courses, like the Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene for Catering course, which can give staff all the information and resources needed to ensure they operate safely. The course also includes a food hygiene certificate upon successful completion of the course, which can be completed in two to three hours.

Source: BBC News

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