A recent article on FoodSafety.com.au discussed the success of the food safety “Name and Shame Register” which was established several years in an attempt to avoid food safety violations.
The premise behind the register is that food businesses would be motivated to keep their names off the register by adhering to good food safety practices and food hygiene or face being shamed publicly. Being publicly humiliated is hopefully enough of a deterrent for food businesses to ensure they stick to healthy food safety practices and Australian food safety standards.
Being included on the register would undoubtedly affect the number of customers that visit a restaurant and may affect a business so drastically they are forced to close. And people in Oz want to know that the food they are eating is safe, that is why the register’s website has been so popular amongst Aussie consumers. According to the article on FoodSafety.com.au the register received more than one million hits in the last year alone and has received more than 7 million hits since its inception several years ago.
As the author of the post highlights, this is proof that people do pay attention to the companies in violation and that does create a deterrent for food businesses which would have a financial impact on the business.
Read what else the author went on to explain about the Name and Shame Register:
The Name and Shame Register covers all types of food safety breaches by businesses in New South Wales. The most common violations against the Food Act of 2003 currently on the listing include:
Failure to Keep Business Clean and Sanitised
Failure to Maintain Proper Temperatures for Cold and Hot Foods
Signs of Pest Infestations
Failure to Ensure Employees Follow Hand Washing Laws
Failure to Protect Foods from Contamination (Including Personal Hygiene and Storage Offences)
Because the Name and Shame Register does list information about the businesses that have created violations, it is quickly becoming the favoured tool of consumers and companies alike as a method of finding who to avoid purchasing from or doing business with. In the 2011-2012 year, there were a total of 785 names on the register with a total of 1337 penalties.
While that number may seem high, it’s proof that this public listing is starting to do its job. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, there were 1309 businesses and 2329 penalties listed. That’s a drastic drop in just a couple of years. This shows that businesses are making more of an effort to follow food safety laws in order to avoid being named on the Name and Shame Register. If consumers continue to pay attention to this listing and avoid businesses that appear on it, this will continue to do its job. Companies can’t afford to lose business, so they will make a bigger effort to keep their business name out of the spotlight.
According to the NSW Minister of Primary Industries, Katrina Hodkinson the register is a great way to remind businesses just how important it is to follow food safety laws and avoid violations. It seems this register is more successful than fines, which do little to slow business for companies because the public aren’t aware of what’s really going on behind the scenes of many restaurants.
For businesses in the food industry, you have nothing to fear as long as your food safety and hygiene is up to scratch. One of the most effective ways of ensuring this is ensuring all employees have undergone Food handling training in order to keep your business’s name off the register.