The Brisbane City Council launched a program in 2010 in order to hold businesses accountable for bad food hygiene or dodgy food practices. The program named “Eatsafe” has since handed out $677,000 in fines to approximately 30 food businesses. This year alone 3 of the culprits received ratings of zero and fines between $12,500 and $30,000 which has resulted in improvements according to the council.
The program has been a resounding success, with complaints falling from 1060 when the program was first initiated to 860 in 2012. Those restaurants that rated below standards had to make improvements in order to comply with the law. Many restaurants even chose to advertise their Eat Safe rating in their display windows which the council says coincides with the decline in food poisoning complaints.
This post on The Couriermail website has more:
Brisbane City Council figures show about 30 food businesses were fined $677,500 since the program began in 2010 – including 114 fines worth $57,000 handed out last financial year alone.
Three businesses – Ala-Din World of Exotic Foods, Golden Crust Hot Bread and Duong Duong Fish Market – were handed zero ratings and fined between $12,500 and $30,000 in July for breaches of the Food Act, a council spokesman said.
They have since improved their ratings, while two have also changed ownership.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said food safety had improved under the scheme, with 4,987 food outlets now holding a rating of three stars or more, about 83 per cent.
“The number of food outlets awarded ‘good’ or higher star ratings by Council has increased by more than 30 per cent since we rolled out the initiative,” Cr Quirk said.
“We have also seen a dramatic fall in the number of outlets rated as ‘poor’ performers, with two star ratings dropping from 40 per cent in 2010 to 12 percent this year.”
The good thing about this is that businesses are stepping up and taking responsibility for the cleanliness of their establishments and we are seeing a marked improvement.
(Photo: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
By following a few simple regulations restaurants can prevent food contamination and maintain their establishment’s reputation. While all food handlers should be aware of their part in maintaining a hygienic food business, these are the most important points they should remember:
Always keep cooked food separate from raw foods. Also when you’re in a hurry don’t forget to wash cooking equipment after every use and between cooking and handling different foods to prevent cross contamination. Pots, pans, knives, cutlery, crockery, chopping boards and all utensils etc. must be cleaned every time you cook a different dish.
The employer should ensure that all food preparation staff wear hairnets or hats while cooking or working in the kitchen. Ensure that all food items are washed thorough before cooking or serving especially fruit and vegetables because pesticides could still be present on the skin.
Never underestimate the importance of washing your hands thoroughly regularly. Staff should wash their hands as many times as possible throughout the day and between different tasks. Put up signs that demonstrate proper hand-washing procedures and remind staff to wash hands often. Have signs that remind staff to wash their hands every time they use the toilet, sneeze, cough into them etc.