The issue of food hygiene is increasingly a concern, and Consumer Association figures showing Bradford Council is not performing particularly well when it comes to inspecting premises in the district will cause some alarm.

It is understandable that the Council feels it has to make a value judgement to decide which outlets it is checking, particularly in these straitened times of budget cuts.

However, that self same economic pressure might also mean that even the most scrupulous business could be tempted to cut corners or buy cheap supplies.

And as was highlighted in this newspaper earlier this week by the director of Institute of Global Food Security at Belfast University, Professor Chris Elliott, inner city areas like Bradford are more likely to be vulnerable to supply of contaminated meat.

That was shown earlier this year when tonnes of meat was seized in a raid on an illegal meat processing plant, with concerns expressed that it may have already placed a large quantity in the food chain.

In spite of the concerns, it is important to remember that this country has one of the safest food supply systems in the world, and as we report today, the Council is acting to tackle outlets that fail to meet the necessary standards.

But that does not mean we can lower our guard, and inspecting 100% of food establishments is surely better than the 90.3% inspected in Bradford, regardless of whether they are considered high risk or not.

That is the only way to ensure it is doing all it can to check the district’s food outlets are operating in a safe and hygienic way.