Food safety improvements in Aussie (NSW) restaurants

Restaurants and food outlets in New South Wales (that’s the Australian state where Sydney is) have improved their food safety standards, at least according to the state government.

More retail food businesses are complying with laws that protect consumers from foodborne illnesses, Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson said on Monday.

The annual local government activity report for 2010/11 put the overall compliance rate at 94.2 per cent, an increase of two percent on last year.

It means the rate of non-compliance has decreased from 10 per cent in 2008/09 to 5.8 per cent in 2010/11, Ms Hodgkinson said.

"It’s clear that food businesses are trying harder to comply with food safety standards but there is a small group that aren’t taking their responsibility to diners seriously. Enforcement penalties such as penalties, seizures and prosecutions are still necessary.

"We’re expecting that the introduction of the Food Safety Supervisors initiative will further encourage businesses to comply. To date 28,720 Food Safety Supervisors have been trained, dramatically improving food safety knowledge and awareness in food businesses across NSW. In addition, our Scores on Doors scheme will help to reward businesses that meet the food safety standards by giving them a way to show their customers how well they have performed.”

The 2010-11 Local Government Activity Report showed that:

Councils undertook a total of 61,046 inspections of the 38,475 high and medium risk retail food businesses across NSW that required inspection.

5.8 per cent of businesses inspected required ongoing intervention from their council – a decrease from 7.8 per cent in the previous year.

Councils issued 6,914 warning letters and 1,455 improvements notices during 2010-11.

Councils issued 1,374 penalty notices, a decrease of 32 per cent on the previous year.

Councils investigated 98.8 per cent of the 4,341 food complaints received by consumers.

The full Local Government Activity Report is available on the NSW Food Authority website – localgovernment/activity-reports/