A COUNCIL claims an administrative error is the reason for it being ranked the fifth worst performing authority in monitoring food hygiene standards.

A Which? survey looked at 395 local authorities in the UK and, using the latest data they submit to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), ranked how they are performing on food safety enforcement.

Wycombe District Council was ranked the fifth worst at making sure businesses in south Buckinghamshire are complying with hygiene rules.

The survey based the rankings on three criteria: the proportion of premises ranked as high or medium risk in a local authority that were broadly compliant with food hygiene requirements.

It also looked at the percentage of premises yet to receive a risk rating; and the proportion of inspections and other follow ups that were required but not carried out by local authority inspectors.

Spokesman for WDC, Catherine Spalton, said: "It is with regret that the data we submitted to the FSA last year contained an error which recorded a lower number of rated properties with regard to risk.

“We anticipate that because the Which? report used these inaccurate figures, our overall rating score is lower which has unfortunately ranked us in the bottom ten.

"Since we identified this error, we have revised our figures and are now confident that we have actually rated about 80 per cent of establishments in the district for risk, rather than the 66.4 per cent that has been reported.

"We work closely with the Food Standards Agency and they are satisfied with our approach to the remaining 20 per cent which are deemed to present a low food safety risk.

“We are obviously disappointed to be within the Which? report's lowest ten, but would hope that our revised figure would significantly increase our ranking."