Consumers begin to embrace name and shame website

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 24th July 2008

The NSW Government’s Name and Shame Website has been embraced by the public with more than 25,000 hits since the website was set up on July 1, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald reported yesterday.

The Minister advised that almost 50 offences have already been published, with consumers showing strong support for the site. “From today there are 46 offences listed on the Food Authority website and in just over three weeks, the name and shame register has had more than 25,000 hits, an average of 1200 a day,” he said. “These figures show the register is achieving its aim of giving hardworking families better access to food business performance.”

An upmarket hotel and three multinational fast-food restaurants are just a few premises to appear on the website for food law breaches.

“The website publication system is simple to use and effective – it delivers specific information about those few food businesses that aren’t up to scratch,” Minister Macdonald advised.

Eight new penalties appear on the website today, including:

* A McDonald’s restaurant in Jilliby (Wyong Shire) fined $660 for evidence of rats found in the food-handling area;
* A Penrith bakery fined $660 for having a dirty shop and equipment;
* A Sydney Chinese restaurant fined $330 for not keeping food under temperature control; and
* A Penrith takeaway fined $660 for two hygiene breaches.

Mr Macdonald said an average of 15 names was added to the shame list each week and it could have almost 200 entries by this time next year. He added that the new laws enacted earlier this month also gave local councils formal responsibility in food safety monitoring and regulation. “Councils play an important role in this new initiative and I congratulate them for their work in making food outlets safer and helping consumers become better informed,” he said.

Minister Macdonald has consistently stressed that the website will only punish those who are at fault, with safeguards designed to protect innocent parties. For example, if a restaurant listed on the site is sold then it will be highlighted so that consumers are aware it is under new management.

“While improving consumer information, the new website also provides a powerful incentive for the food industry to boost its performance,” he concluded.

The Food Authority name and shame website is at: