Almost half of Hackney’s food outlets hit with hygiene warnings

Baxter's Court, Hackney

Almost half of all Hackney’s food outlets were hit with hygiene warnings in 2013 — the highest rate in London:

Data Visualisation: Joe Hall

49 per cent of the 2,254 food outlets in the borough infringed on hygiene legislation.

New data from the Food Standards Agency reveals that while there were more written warnings issued in Westminster and Southwark, no borough had a higher percentage than Hackney.

Data Visualisation: Joe Hall

The percentage of Hackney food establishments that were given written warnings has almost doubled in a year, with only 25% given written hygiene warnings in 2012.

Miriam Barkland, 65, said: “I’ve been coming to restaurants in Hackney for eight years and I’ve never, ever had a problem or felt ill. There are places that I would avoid – some of the curry places I miss because it’s easier to hide poor ingredients. But I think you should just show some common sense when choosing where to eat.”

Inspectors also issued 62 improvement notices in the borough, the fifth-highest amount in the capital. The area surrounding the Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington has 427 businesses with a five out of five rating, the largest concentration anywhere in the borough.

Hackney also had one of the highest percentages of food outlets issued with improvement notices, with 62 ordered to bring themselves up to the standard – only Waltham Forest (67), Camden (68), Lewisham (98) and Westminster (108) had more.

A combined total of 18 prohibition and emergency prohibition orders, issued when an outlet must stop serving food, were handed out in Hackney.

Last month environmental health officers from Hackney Council issued a pub with an emergency prohibition order after a cockroach infestation was uncovered in its kitchen.

Baxter’s Court, a JD Wetherspoon pub on Mare Street in Hackney Central, was ordered to stop preparing and serving food until a follow-up inspection deemed them up to standard.

Sam Kavi, a student, 26, Oakley Road, said: “I’m a bit surprised that so many failed. But I suppose what you see at the front of a restaurant isn’t the same as what’s going on at the back.”

However, in contrast to those in neighbouring boroughs, Hackney food outlets did escape prosecution in 2013. Tower Hamlets had 15 outlets prosecuted, the highest total number in the capital, while Islington had eight, Newham five and Waltham Forest one.

Around one in every four businesses inspected in Hackney received the top score rating from the the council’s food inspection officers.

Find out how your local restaurant did:


Data Visualisation: Laura Cantadori

The best areas in Hackney for food hygiene:

Food hygiene

Around one every four businesses inspected in Hackney deserves the top score rating, according to the Food Standards Agency.

The area surrounding the Abney Park Cemetery (N16) saw the highest concentration of the highest rated businesses.

This is also the area with the biggest amount of restaurants in the whole area of Hackney, and hosts also a lot of businesses which still require improvements, 473 out of the total.

The worst areas in Hackney for food hygiene:

Food hygiene


Out of 1968 restaurants inspected, 42 were given 0 rating, while 427 were given the five rating.


  1. […] We looked at each dataset, trying to identify potential stories and we did not come out empty-handed. By analysing the food hygiene data for London, Joe Hall found that half of all Hackney’s food outlets were hit with hygiene warnings in 2013, a figure which constituted the highest rate in London. This is the story we published. […]

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