A state-wide food hygiene scoring program is to be implemented across the Shire after being endorsed by Councillors at Wednesday evening’s Ordinary Council Meeting.
‘Scores on Doors’ is an initiative of the NSW Food Authority and encourages restaurants, cafés, pubs and fast-food outlets to display the ‘score’ certificate they’ve received following an inspection by a Council Environmental Health Officer.
“The Southern Highlands is a well-known food and wine destination and food businesses play an important role in our local economy,” said Council’s Group Manager of Planning, Development and Regulatory Services, Nick Wilton.
“Scores on Doors not only encourages safe food handling practices and healthier premises but also acts as a visible reward to those businesses doing the right thing,” he said.
“It provides consumers with peace of mind knowing that their eatery is complying with NSW hygiene and food safety requirements.
“In turn this provides customers with more informed choices over where they may decide to eat,” Mr Wilton said.
Under the scheme premises are graded from 3 to 5 stars, with 5 being the highest rating. Businesses that achieve these ratings will be encouraged to display their certificates at their premises. Operators with major hygiene and food safety issues will not receive a certificate and Council will undertake a follow up inspection to ensure compliance.
“Council mandatorily undertakes the inspection under the Scores on Doors program however it is up to the business themselves if they choose to hang the certificate,” said Mr Wilton.
“However we think that many outlets will voluntarily choose to display the certificate because of its recognition that their establishment is adhering to stringent food handling and preparation processes.”
More than 30 councils across the state have taken up Scores on Doors since piloted by the NSW State Government Food Authority in 2010.
“We think Scores on Doors will be a big hit with both local eateries and foodies.”
Wingecarribee Shire Council will begin issuing Scores on Doors certificates from 1 July 2015.