Commenting on how food hygiene ratings affect buying decisions, Imran Ali, of Bourtreehill Supermarket in North Ayrshire, told betterRetailing: “My nearest Booker site has really improved over the past year. 

“I won’t buy stock that I wouldn’t buy for myself in a shop. It has an impact on reputation. I’ve heard about wholesalers with rodent problems. You don’t know if they’ve been near the stock.” 

Paresh Vyas, of Premier Droylsden in Manchester, added: “Shelf life is a big part of food hygiene. 

“I’m cautious about the shelf life on stock purchased in a depot because this can have an impact on wastage in my shop.”

betterRetailing analysed the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) database of food hygiene ratings for major wholesalers dating back to 2018. 

One hundred per cent of Booker depots across England achieved a passing grade of three to five.

Other wholesalers with a full pass rate in England, according to published data, were Bestway, Costco, Hancocks, DeeBee and Parfetts.

A Batleys in Doncaster was the only one in England to receive a failing grade. It was marked down on cleanliness and the system of food hygiene checks. 

In Scotland, three Booker-owned depots were described as ‘improvement required’.

When asked about the depots with a low rating, a Booker spokesperson said: “Two per cent of our cash and carries had a problem that was primarily caused by a process around food tasting. This has been resolved.”