NSW diners hungry for Name and Shame information

Posted by Josette Dunn on 30th July 2010

The NSW Government’s Name and Shame register has attracted more than four million hits since its inception two years ago, successfully meeting the increasing public demand for safe food information, Minister for Primary Industries Steve Whan said today.”That’s more than two million hits a year since the Name and Shame initiative was launched in July 2008,” Minister Whan said.

“Consumers want to know the best and safest food service businesses to spend their hard earned money – Name and Shame provides that information to them in an easy to navigate one stop shop.

“The website is updated weekly and is the most reliable way for people to know who’s not up to scratch in meeting food safety requirements.

More than 2,000 food businesses have been issued more than 3,500 penalty notices and 63 prosecutions for violations of food safety laws since Name and Shame records began.

The top five reasons penalty notices are issued are:

* Cleanliness failures with premises or equipment (37%)
* Failure to wash hands or maintain hand basins (13%)
* Failure to exclude or eradicate pests (12%)
* Failure to hold food at safe temperatures (10%)
* Failure to protect food from contamination (10%)
Minister Whan said the results had been achieved as a result of successful collaboration between the NSW Food Authority and Local Government through their Food Regulation Partnership.

“Name and Shame serves two purposes, it protects consumers and the food service industry itself.

“The vast majority of NSW food businesses do the right thing and to protect these businesses and consumers we will continue to expose and penalise those who flout the law.

“There are over 36,000 food businesses in NSW who are subject to routine inspections by local Councils.

“When you consider that 2,000 have appeared on Name and Shame it represents only a small proportion overall.

“The other encouraging fact is that the Name and Shame concept is working – most businesses learn from their mistakes and work with authorities to improve food safety standards in their business.

“Just 204 of the businesses penalised have received penalty notices at subsequent inspections.

“Local Government environmental health officers are doing a good job to improve compliance in these businesses.

“That is an encouraging trend that means consumers can be assured of improving food safety standards in NSW.”

The Name and Shame website is located at www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/penalty-notices