The Co-op has been named the country’s least hygienic grocery chain, as analysis revealed 45 shops needed improvement.
Software company Property Inspect, which carried out the analysis using data from the Food Standards Agency, found just 88.6% of its stores had a “very good” (five star) hygiene rating.
Big 4 grocer Asda stayed marginally ahead of last place on 89.6%. However, 1.2% of its stores were ranked below “satisfactory” (three stars), higher than the Co-op’s 0.9%.
At the other end of the scale, Aldi claimed the crown with 99.7% of its sites being awarded a five star rating. This is despite being the only grocery goliath with a zero star store: the Heybridge Way Aldi in Waltham Forest.
Waitrose, the only supermarket not to drop below three stars, claimed silver, while Marks & Spencer was handed a bronze. Sainsbury’s took fourth, beating its Big 4 rivals, and was followed by Iceland, Lidl, Tesco and Morrisons.
“More can be done to ensure the safety of their customers across the UK,” said Property Inspect commercial director Warrick Swift. “This is an issue where shoppers will vote with their feet, which grocery stores of all kinds should pay close attention to.
“With more people than ever assessing the hygiene quality of stores they choose to buy from, sophistication in cleaning processes has never been more essential.”