MORE than 180 food premises in Gwent have been given food hygiene ratings of one or zero, according to Plaid Cymru.

The party has discovered that 1,100 food premises across Wales have earned low zero or one food hygiene ratings.

Through freedom of information requests and publicly-accessible information Plaid discovered that, out of 3,870 food premises in Gwent, 187 have one of the bottom two ratings.

A zero rating indicates that urgent improvement is necessary while one means that major improvement is necessary.

The ratings are given to each business when it is inspected by a food safety officer, and shows how closely the business is meeting the needs of food hygiene law.

In Wales businesses who receive a new sticker with its rating will have to display it in a prominent place such as on a front door or an entrance.

Newport has 1,008 food premises – inspectors have handed out 41 one ratings and four zero ratings.

Some 29 food premises in Torfaen have a one rating and five have a zero, out a total of 549 premises.

Out of 499 food premises in Blaenau Gwent, none had a zero rating but 19 of them had a one rating.

In Caerphilly out of 1083 food premises just one had a zero rating while 56 had a 1 rating.

Monmouthshire had 731 food premises, with just one of those with a zero rating and 31 with a rating of one.

Lindsay Whittle, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales East, said: “It is disappointing that more than 180 food premises across Gwent have a zero or one rating.

“The challenge for them is to urgently up their game considerably.

“Having said that, the vast majority of food premises in Gwent are of very good standard and I want to see all businesses aspire to that level.

“I’m pleased that the regulations now ensure that businesses must publish their ratings for the public to view.

“I would urge anyone that notices a food premises without a rating displayed to report them to their local authority.

“The interests and health of consumers must be priority and action taken against those traders who put people’s health at risk.”