01.Join our call for a national food hygiene scheme
As part of the 2011 CHOICE Awards, CHOICE looked at various scores-on-doors ratings schemes around Australia. Whilst we congratulate Canada Bay Council for winning the award for Best Restaurant Hygiene Rating Scheme
, CHOICE would like to see a national scores on doors restaurant hygiene rating program. At the moment, each council running a restaurant hygiene scheme has developed its own scores on doors system. Whilst CHOICE thinks that all the scores on doors rating schemes we looked at are a step in the right direction, some perform better than others in key areas. This means that a five-star rating in one council may only equal a three-star rating in another council, which in turn may be an 'A' rating somewhere else. This can be confusing if you're outside of your local council area.
A national scheme would mean that, no matter where you were, you could make an informed decision about where to eat and the rating would be the same wherever you went.
As long as the schemes are run by councils they're not mandatory, so only businesses that opt in need to display their rating. And they're able to opt out if they don't like that rating. Last year we came a step closer to a more widely used scheme with the annoucement of a voluntary system for NSW. The NSW Food Authority recently finished its pilot program, so we're waiting to see what happens next.
CHOICE would like to see a national scores on doors scheme that includes the following criteria:
- Inspection process - we would like to see the scheme integrated into the regular inspection process;
- Inspection frequency - we want the scheme to inspect at least every 12 months, with further check-ups for poor performers;
- Inspection template - we would like to see a detailed inspection template which gives the restaurant a numerical score, as opposed to a black-and-white tick-box approach; and
- Compliance history - we want the inspection history of the restaurant taken into considernation when assessing the business.
Join the campaign
Help CHOICE campaign for a national scores on doors scheme by writing to your state health minister in support of the program. A list of health ministers and their email addresses can be found below.