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Eat Safe 13/14 results show it’s a recipe for success

19 September, 2014

Brisbane Lifestyle Chairman Cr Krista Adams is today announcing Council’s Eat Safe program has successfully maintained high food health and safety standards in Brisbane in 13/14.

Cr Adams said Eat Safe was a successful model for enforcing food safety and hygiene, including cleanliness, food storage and handling and pest control, using a star rating system.

Cr Adams said in 13/14, 6030 businesses (90.26%) achieved a rating of three stars or more, which is almost 250 more than in 12/13 and almost 1400 more than in 11/12.

She said Council had carried out 6117 mandatory inspections (which equates to approximately 24 inspections each business day) and responded to 922 food safety complaints.

“Everyone should be confident and safe when dining out in Brisbane, so we conduct mandatory inspections and are quick to respond to every complaint to take appropriate enforcement action,” Cr Adams said.

“Eat Safe uses an extensive checklist of 44 assessment measures to determine compliance with the Food Act 2006 and the Food Standards Code, which makes it crystal clear to offending businesses exactly what area they have breached.

“Food safety is a very serious issue, which is why we issue improvement notices or fines to businesses with minor offences, and throw the book at businesses with major offences by suspending food business licences, prosecuting or cancelling food licences.

“In 13/14, Council suspended 23 food licences, prosecuted 34 businesses resulting in $710,600 in fines and cancelled six food licences.

“Eat Safe also provides incentives to encourage compliance such as less mandatory inspections for businesses with outstanding compliance records, and we find that this two-pronged approach sees businesses really clean up their act.

“This allows Council to work closely with poor performers; supporting them with a strategy to ensure food safety compliance and staying on their back until they are up to standard.”

Cr Adams said Council continued to strive for higher levels of compliance for Brisbane diners, as the four year anniversary of the program approached (1 November 2014).

“I encourage Brisbane diners to get behind Council’s Eat Safe program, by visiting the website (www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/EatSafeBrisbane) and searching for a business’ star rating – Good, Very Good, or Excellent - to make more informed dining choices,” she said.

“Council approved 1130 new food business licence applications in 13/14 and 994 in 12/13, so it’s important that in such a high-growth, high-turnover industry we set the bar high.”

Under the Eat Safe scheme, every licenced food business is audited by Council’s environmental health officers to determine their star rating of 0, 2, 3, 4, or 5 stars. A two or no-star rated business is required to make improvements to ensure it is complying with legislation standards.
[Ends] SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

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