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Judges order food hygiene app binned

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Judges order food hygiene app binned
Gastro-Ampel app. Photo: DPA
14:55 CET+01:00
Judges in Düsseldorf said on Friday that an app allowing users to check restaurants' hygiene standards against a traffic light system was too unreliable to continue.

The app, known as "Gastro-Ampel" (Gastro Traffic Light), produced by the North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Protection Office, displayed a green, amber or red rating for restaurants based on their hygiene.

But the Düsseldorf Administrative Court said it didn't provide concrete enough facts on how clean each establishment may be and must be withdrawn.

The presiding judges in Düsseldorf said that "potential customers are warned whether or not to try out an establishment without knowing specifically why."

During the pilot project in Duisburg and Bielefeld, people could check the database of establishments online or using the smartphone app, seeing whether they lived up to industry hygiene standards.
 
Even though users can see the exact number of points deducted for hygiene shortcomings, the judges said this still wasn't specific enough.
 
In Duisburg, 770 restaurants were online and could be checked by the app's users.
 
More than 90 percent of them fall into the green category, and nearly eight percent in the amber category, which leaves just over two percent in the dreaded red section.

By January, 25,000 people had already downloaded the tool.

But four separate restaurants came together to bring their case against the project before the courts.

It is not yet known whether the Consumer Protection Office plans to bring out a new version addressing the judges' concerns.

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