BASINGSTOKE and Deane has been named as one of the safest places to eat out in the UK.

A survey conducted by Which? looked at 395 authorities across the UK and their enforcement of food hygiene standards in food establishments.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council was named as the third best authority in the country, with an intervention rate of 98.86 per cent.

The borough council was beaten to the top by Cherwell District Council, in Oxfordshire, and Brentwood Borough Council, in Essex.

Figures from Which?, the UK’s largest consumer body, show that between April 2012 and March 2013, one prohibition order was made, two improvement notices served and 281 written warnings were handed out to food establishments in the borough.

The consumer body used data they submit to the Foods Standard Agency, ranking them on how they are performing on food safety enforcement.

A total of 1,323 establishments were registered with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in the period, and they range from restaurants, hotels, cafes and shops to staff canteens, guest houses, delivery vehicles and ice cream vans operating in the borough.

Premises are rated by their risk which includes the type of food and processing, the number and type of consumer at risk, current compliance of establishments, the risk of contamination and confidence in management.

A-rated premises are inspected every six months, B every 12 months, C every 18 months, D every 24 months and E-rated sites are given a programme of alternative enforcement.

Councillor Robert Donnell, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “We take standards of food hygiene within our local businesses very seriously. Our officers work hard with them to raise standards where necessary, and this helps to ensure that they produce and sell safe food. This means that you can eat with confidence in the borough.”