Food safety in the Australian stars

The issue of food safety and hygiene in Australia’s foodservice industry has continued to have a high profile with any story of food poisoning or foodservice businesses breaching laws, as well as programs like the NSW Food Authority’s “name and shame” register, guaranteeing it remains in the spotlight.

But around Australia, according to Hospitality Magazine, there are growing moves by councils and food authorities to shift the focus into more positive territory with the growth of so called “Scores on Doors” programs that, rather than holding up the bad operators, recognize the outstanding ones publicly.

In New South Wales a year long trial of the government’s voluntary Scores on Doors program, based on a star rating system, was completed in August and is now under review, but early reports from stakeholders are giving it the thumbs up for its achievements in lifting awareness and foodservice business food safety compliance. And in South Australia the government is gearing up to launch a state-wide pilot of a similar program following a major review of the effects of such initiatives in Australia and overseas.

At the same time the joint Australian and New Zealand body, the Food Regulations Standing Committee is currently working on developing a national approach for a food safety disclosure system.