Comment on Leeds food poisoning case

You can view the original story 'Leeds restaurant fined after bug poisons 23' - that we featured on our new food poisoning help website by clicking here.

The restaurant featured in the story, the Red Chilli in Leeds was inspected last July / August. The article reports that the mitigation included the owners addressing the problems straight away. Yet according to the official Food Hygiene Ratings website, this same restaurant failed another inspection on 26th July this year http://ratings.food.gov.uk/business/en-GB/321379?bn=red+chilli&ba=leeds&sm=1&st=1&pi=0 

Our own investigations showed there is chaos and confusion for consumers, with few knowing about the resources available to check food hygiene standards and too many suspected cases not being reported. Reviews websites which contain many thousands of allegations are also distorting this serious issue, with false (sometimes malicious, sometimes misguided allegations) - but many real offenders, not being highlighted.

The Red Chilli, for example has many recommendations -

An 82% rating on Urbanspoon - http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/353/1439214/restaurant/West-Yorkshire/Leeds-City-Centre/Red-Chilli-Leeds

And more good reviews on View Leeds, Yelp etc. TripAdvisor is the usual mixed bag, - a lot more excellent and very good ratings than poor - but no mentions of food poisoning

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186411-d788826-Reviews-Red_Chilli-Leeds_West_Yorkshire_England.html#REVIEWS

You will find many allegations of food poisoning regarding Leeds restaurants - dozens on the TripAdvisor search alone, including well known brands such as Jamie's Italian (one is even hearsay rather than an actual experience), Zizzi's, De Vere Hotels, Loch Fyne, Yo Sushi etc - but they are of course all anonymous and unsubstantiated. Most of these will have good official hygiene ratings.

With the way things stand, the result is that many restaurants are being falsely accused and ones that have actual poor hygiene standards are 'getting away with it’. That's a serious situation around small businesses that can be wrecked by such allegations - and for consumers, the health risks are very serious - people are made extremely ill (the frail, young and pregnant women are particularly at risk) - some cases are fatal.

We have provided a dedicated site to help both consumers and businesses who have been unjustly accused - http://foodpoisoninghelp.info/

Recent press coverage - links below

TV chef Blumenthal may be latest victim of malicious web users posting fake reviews

Bexley has highest hygiene failure rate for catering businesses

Top restaurants hit by online food poisoning lies

Legal warning over food-poison claims

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