Name and shame, Irish style

Nine Irish restaurants and take-aways were closed due to food safety breaches in January.

ireland.pubAn Eddie Rockets diner and a Spar store were among two of the businesses told to close their doors last month by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

While revealing the closure orders, Professor Alan Reilly, Chief Executive of FSAI warned standards cannot slip to a level that consumer health is put at risk.

He said: ” It is not acceptable for any food business to potentially put their customers’ health at risk. Every food business should be striving to meet the high food safety and hygiene standards that the majority of food businesses achieve on a daily basis.

“We’re urging food businesses to make sure that they have a food safety management system in place and that it is consulted on a regular basis and updated, where necessary, to ensure non-compliance issues and breaches of food safety legislation don’t occur.”

Name and shame, Vietnam style

Supermarket and residential market food safety inspection results will be open to the public in 2015, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said on Wednesday.

Vietnamese. Wedding FeastThe names of food providers that violated food safety regulations and those that adhered to them would be made public to ensure customers’ right to access to safe food, Long said.

In another effort to make food safer in 2015, the Ministry of Health planned a pilot programme, under which ward and commune inspection teams would be placed in Ha Noi and HCM City to examine food suppliers and deal with regulation violators.

“Those sub-district inspection teams will be granted the ability to impose direct fines on the violators,” Long said. “This is a radical idea we are rushing to implement as soon as possible.”

Lend a hand for food safety on World Hand Hygiene Day

The World Health Organization’s World Hand Hygiene Day is on Sunday May 5.

CEO Polly Bennett said the New South Wales Food Authority’s Name and Shame website, which allows consumers to view businesses that have failed to meet handwash_south_park(2)food safety standards, had a number of businesses on the register for handwashing offences.

“While the vast majority of businesses do the right thing, there are a few who need to lift their game, and this includes those who have failed to implement correct hand washing measures.

“Hand washing offences are up there in the top five most common food safety breaches under the Food Act, accounting for 13% of breaches in 2010-11.

“In addition to the Name and Shame register that provides the public with information about those businesses who have breached food safety laws, the Authority is also committed to encouraging and promoting training and learning through programs like Food Safety Supervisor.”

Food Safety Supervisor is a training initiative designed to improve skills and knowledge in the industry – with close to 50,000 people in NSW having completed the training.

“I encourage everyone to use today’s World Hand Hygiene Day as a reminder to ensure they are following the rules and keeping themselves, their family and for business – their customers, safe.”

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Name and shame next for Canberra; website disclosure and person-in-charge to start

Canberra continues to take babysteps toward restaurant inspection disclosure by setting up a name-and-shame website after new food safety legislation was passed by the Legislative Assembly yesterday.

Under the new laws, which were supported by all three parties, businesses will have to display their registration certificates, and a closure notice if the government issues them with a prohibition order.

Eateries will also be required to have a trained food safety officer on site to ensure businesses are meeting hygiene regulations.

The new laws come 12 months after an investigation by The Canberra Times revealed restaurants that had breached food safety laws would not be named publicly on the grounds it might jeopardise their commercial viability.

The protection was offered despite ACT Health issuing dozens of warnings to ACT businesses urging them to clean their unhygienic kitchens and banning businesses from selling meals on seven occasions because of fears customers might be poisoned.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the passage of the food amendment bill yesterday was ”a pivotal step forward in improving food safety and regulatory transparency”.

”Unfortunately over the past year gaps in the knowledge of the people who work in the industry have been discovered,” Ms Gallagher said.

Ms Gallagher said food businesses would be given 18 months to train and implement their food safety supervisors.

She added that a dedicated food safety directorate had been formed at the Health Protection Service to improve the management of food safety in the ACT.

Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan said the next step to improving food hygiene in the ACT was to implement a system similar to the Scores on Doors scheme in NSW, where businesses display a food safety rating in their windows.


Name and shame bill introduced for Australian capital

 A day after raw egg in mayonnaise served at a Canberra restaurant was fingered as the source of a salmonella outbreak, the Australian Capital Territory has introduced a name and shame bill to publicly disclose bad restaurant operations.

It’s not conspiracy, it’s coincidence.

The Food Amendment Bill 2011 proposes an amendment also requires businesses in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to display their current registration certificates to have suitably trained food safety supervisors at premises. Additionally, closure notices will have to be displayed at the entrance of a food business served with a prohibition order.

Chief Minister and Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher said today that the ACT Health Directorate has seen an increase in the number of businesses failing to comply with the required food standards over the past year.

“Together these amendments should enhance food safety, increase food regulation transparency and assist in reducing the social and economic costs of food borne illnesses.”

Melbourne’s dirtiest restaurants downtown

 Melbourne’s CBD (central business district) has the most restaurants in the state breaching food safety laws, according to a register of convictions that names and shames Victorian eateries.

Thirty-six individuals and businesses representing 24 restaurants have been named on the register since the Brumby government set it up on July 1 last year.

Eleven of the convictions on the register are against restaurants within Melbourne’s CBD.

Asian restaurants and grocery stores appear to be the worst offenders, making up almost half of all convictions.? But the list also contain bakeries, a cafe attached to a car wash and a venue operating at the popular Queen Victoria Market.

The offences include:?- failing to remove pests living in the premises;?- smoking near food preparation areas;?- not storing potentially hazardous food correctly;?- not providing soap and warm water for food handlers;?- having no means of drying hands to reduce the risk of contamination; and?- having kitchens with an accumulation of garbage, food waste, dirt or grease.

The worst offenders include Noodle Kingdom, whose owners were ordered to fork out $70,000 for various breaches.

Name and shame for Canberra restaurants?

Two months after a senior health official told the Canberra Times that Canberrans must not be told which of the city’s restaurants were deemed too unhygienic to serve food, because naming them would undermine the rule of law, Canberra wants to introduce a name-and-shame program for restaurant inspection disclosure.

Like Washington, D.C., the Australian Capital Territory is a unique government structure all its own. Although located within the Australian state of New South
Wales, which includes Sydney, ACT and the federal capital of Canberra can apparently make its own rules – at least regarding restaurant inspection disclosure.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher told ABC News recommendations include forcing restaurants to display official shame notices in their windows.

"We’ve had a couple of examples where businesses have been required to close and a sign may go up saying business closed due to holiday or something like that. So we are trying to look at how we manage that. That is, if you are closed because of a food safety reason that you have to display that clearly so people can see the reason behind the closure."

Ms Gallagher says they are also considering a ‘scores on doors’ system, which she says works well overseas in Singapore and Canada.

"Restaurants get rated against an ‘A to E’ based on their food handling techniques and inspections that are done. Obviously everyone would aspire to having an ‘A’.

Can’t speak for Singapore, but that’s not quite how it works in Canada, where a mixture of colors, grades and websites are used in various counties.

Regardless, Ms Gallagher said – without talking to industry – that she expects the industry will welcome the ideas.

"It is about rewarding those that do the right thing. It is about identifying the poor performers, it’s not actually doing anything against those who are doing the right thing.”

Name and shame arrives in United Arab Emirates

The Australians popularized the ‘name and shame’ approach to restaurant inspection disclosure (the Brits use ‘scores on doors,’ those in Toronto use pretty colors and Danes use smiley faces).

Mohammed al Reyaysa, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority’s spokesman, told The National today that restaurant operators promised to improve hygiene standards after the emirate’s food safety watchdog named 17 outlets that were temporarily closed because of violations, adding,

“When all efforts fail, we are left with no other option but to order the closure of the outlet that functions in utter disregard for public health and the law of the land. The health and safety of the consumer is the red line that should not be crossed in any circumstance.”

Of the 17 establishments that were closed this year, 15 were in Abu Dhabi city and two were in Al Gharbia.

They were allowed to reopen after the Food Control Authority was confident the violations had been corrected.

Mr al Reyaysa further noted the restaurants closed were “fraught with potential danger to the health of the consumers”, such as kitchens infested with insects, improper drainage systems and waste disposal, and mixing meat and fruits.

He also criticized restaurants that complain inspections are too rigorous.

“We have clear requirements and regulations that are based on global best practices. We are not less, and our consumers are not less, than those in Europe and America. We do not sacrifice the health of the consumer so establishments can make more money or avoid having their names mentioned in the media.”

Sydney eateries need to lift their game

This Christmas will be my first away from snowy Canada and the family. Although I’ll miss the Filion family funtivities, I will not miss the cold. Rather I’m quite looking forward to seeing kangaroos for the first time, and attempting to surf in sunny Sydney.

While I generously apply the SPF, New South Wales (NSW) eateries will be preparing for new food safety requirements in the coming year. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 10% of NSW eateries failed to meet inspection standards in 2009, and as a result a mandatory food safety supervisor will be required starting next year.

The State Government will today release its first food safety report card, detailing the amount of inspections, fines and prosecutions handed down over the year.

Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan said,

”The report shows 10 per cent of food businesses did not comply with the standards and required ongoing intervention.”

The minister said the Government had amended the Food Act and a mandatory food handler training program would come into effect to ensure every food business had a designated food safety supervisor.

NSW lists inspection results online where premises are Name and Shamed.

Worst restaurants in Austin: The name-and-shame game

A news station in Austin, TX has used the name-and-shame approach to expose restaurants in the area that failed health inspections in 2008. reports that 96 of the 6,000 restaurants inspected in the county failed health inspections in the past year. Highlights from the article below, with my favorite, Mr. Natural on Cesar Chavez, first.

[T]he restaurant that had the worst score in the Austin-Travis County area for 2008. It’s a place that is supposed to be good for us… it’s 100 percent vegetarian. Critical violations include grain beetles in the bulk flour bin and an accumulation of food particles or mold on numerous surfaces including the ice machine, the waffle iron, and the interior of the bakery freezer. Since that failing score Mr. Natural has passed with scores of 76 and 72…

China Buffet got a score of 55… inspectors found an unknown liquid dripping in a container plus filth on the walls, doors, fans, floors and sides of equipment. It cleaned things up and scored 90, 84, and 83 on follow up inspections…

Cancun Mexican Restaurant [received a score of] 50. The inspector watched a cook handle raw beef then fail to properly wash his hands or wear gloves before handling ready to eat tortillas. Employee prescriptions were found next to the toaster. It was checked three more times last year scoring a 71, an 82, and 79 on follow-up inspections.

In Austin restaurant inspection results are available on the City of Austin website. Consumers can search an establishment, like Mr. Natural, and view the most recent inspection score. Establishments are scored on a 100-point system, with points being deduced for violations. Less than 70 requires re-inspection.