In figures released this month by the National Audit Office, spending on food hygiene inspections by local authorities between 2012 and 2018 fell by 19%. 

Staff employed to conduct food standards checks per 1,000 food businesses across the UK also fell by 45% in the same period.

Despite the decline in checks, more businesses that have been inspected are meeting their food hygiene requirements. The number of businesses that were compliant last year rose from 87% to 90% over a six-year period.

The checks, issued by the Food Standards Agency, give businesses a rating from zero (the worst) to five.

Read more: Many convenience stores have no food hygiene rating