ACT Government introduces ‘Name and Shame’ Bill
The Australian Capital Territory today introduced a Bill into the Legislative Assembly that will allow the names of food businesses in the Territory convicted of an offence against the Food Act to be placed on a publicly available register.
The Food Amendment Bill 2011 proposes an amendment also requires businesses in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to display their current registration certificates to have suitably trained food safety supervisors at premises. Additionally, closure notices will have to be displayed at the entrance of a food business served with a prohibition order.
Chief Minister and Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher said today that the ACT Health Directorate has seen an increase in the number of businesses failing to comply with the required food standards over the past year.
Chief Minister Gallagher said, “Together these amendments should enhance food safety, increase food regulation transparency and assist in reducing the social and economic costs of food borne illnesses.”
The State government’s announcement coincides with an outbreak of Salmonella in the ACT.
Members of the Canberra community and industry were invited to comment on these measures during a public consultation in August and September 2011. Further consultation will occur in relation to the training to be required of food safety supervisors and the style of closure notices.
The ACT Government is the latest Australian State government to move towards food transparency and tighter food safety regulation.
New legislation passed by the Queensland Parliament in November 2011 will allow a government-led food business rating scheme to be introduced across Queensland. New food safety legislation which requires restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs to have a Food Safety Supervisor has also been rolled out across the State of New South Wales.