Harrow has been ranked as one of the worst authorities in the country for food safety.

Following an investigation by consumer magazine Which? of 395 authorities across the UK, Harrow was placed in the bottom ten for food safety enforcement.

Of the 372 establishments deemed to be non-compliant with food standards, less than 50 per cent have had action taken against them by Harrow Borough Council.

The study, based on data from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), also shows overall food testing for the whole country fell by 6.8 per cent from the previous year.

Richard Lloyd of Which? said: “No one wants another horsemeat fiasco, so it is very worrying that local authority food checks are in decline.

“We want to see a more strategic approach to food law enforcement that makes the best use of limited resources and responds effectively to the huge challenges facing the food supply chain.”

In response to the findings, leader of the council Councillor Susan Hall said: “While we believe we have enforced against the worst offenders, clearly this assessment by Which is a concern.

“Last autumn I ordered a review of the service and as a result of that we are recruiting more food hygiene officers to carry out inspections.”

A council spokeswoman added the data includes 107 low risk premises, which the authority wrote to with advice and guidance, rather than carrying out an inspection.

She added this is common practice supported by the FSA and the council will continue to review these premises and take further action if necessary.