ALMOST 450 written warnings were handed out to businesses in Blackburn with Darwen for food hygiene issues over the last year, due to problems such as cleanliness and separation of foods.

But the tough approach has reaped rewards as the latest figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) show that not one firm in the borough has a zero rating for hygiene.

Blackburn with Darwen Council environment boss Cllr Jim Smith said: "It is good news that we have no zero-rated food premises.

"We have worked extremely hard to achieve this.

"This is driven by the customers. It is about hygiene and people's health.

"We would urge people to go to those establishments with high ratings where the owners put them on the doors. Those with lower ratings tend not to but customers can always check the scores online.

"The council would like all food premises to be required to display their hygiene ratings.

"Our staff are working to keep the lack of any zero ratings and to get the one and two-rated premises to to four and five."

Data from the FSA shows the results of food hygiene intervention inspections in the local authority, over the 12 months to April.

The businesses inspected are mostly restaurants, but include any establishment which handles unpacked food including farms, manufacturers and catering companies.

The news comes as the Lancashire Telegraph reveals the latest ‘scores on the doors’ for your local takeaways.

We reveal the best and the worst places for food hygiene with every fast food joint in between – from the sparkling clean 5-star rated kitchens to those with the dreaded zeros and ones.

You can click on the links below to find where your local curry house, pizza place or fish and chip shop ranks.

Blackburn with Darwen food hygiene - rating 5

Blackburn with Darwen food hygiene - rating 4

Blackburn with Darwen food hygiene - rating 3

Blackburn with Darwen food hygiene - rating 2

Blackburn with Darwen food hygiene - rating 1

Inspectors assessed 1,231 businesses and handed out 438 written warnings in Blackburn with Darwen.

Any breach of food hygiene regulations can lead to a written warning. Breaches include problems with cleanliness, training of staff, record keeping, washing facilities and separation of cooked and raw foods.

Officials consider the seriousness of the case, as well as the co-operation of the business, before deciding on what action to take.

As well as the written warnings, in Blackburn with Darwen there were five hygiene improvement notices and two voluntary closures.

High risk scores were given to six businesses. This means they need to be inspected again within six months.

This rating is different from the 0 to 5 score that restaurants and takeaways display in their windows, as it is an indicator of when officials need to assess the business again.

A business which gets a high risk rating is "highly likely" to have breached food hygiene regulations, according to the FSA.

However it could also be because of its trade, such as large scale manufacturers with lots of customers or businesses that carry out specialist procedures.

In total there were more than 150,000 written warnings handed out in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2017-18, and 267 successful prosecutions. Scotland collects its data separately.

Nina Purcell, director of Regulatory Delivery at the FSA, said: "It’s encouraging that local authorities have made improvements in the percentage of interventions achieved and are continuing to target their activities at food businesses where food safety risks are the highest or where food fraud is more likely."

An FSA spokeswoman encouraged people who see bad food hygiene to report it to the council.