Port Stephens restaurateurs have voted with their feet in rejecting the New South Wales Food Authority’s Score on Doors food safety campaign.
Scores on Doors is a volunteer star-rating system given to food outlets to display in store following routine food safety inspections.
According to the Port Stephens Examiner, the town signed up in October 2011 to be part of a state-wide trial of the program, with a staff report stating it was an opportunity to “improve consistency of inspections and outcomes for food businesses”.
However, more than a year later the program has been dubbed a failure, with only 10 food outlets out of 338 within the Port Stephens Local Government Area signing up.
Matthew Brown, the council’s development assessment manager, wrote in a report to councilors, “It is the opinion of the environmental health team that the lack of interest from food business proprietors is due mainly to the initiative being a non-compulsory trial [and] participating voluntarily could potentially result in an unsatisfactory rating that they had no choice but to display to the public.”
One business supportive of the plan was Medowie Macadamias, which received a five-star rating, the highest available.
Owner Scott Leech said it was hard to understand why businesses would not support the plan.
“I think it’s a great idea, I really do. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about,” he said.