Food safety: More than 850 Ipswich restaurants to be audited
ALL of Ipswich's 854 licensed food businesses are likely to get food safety star ratings like their Brisbane counterparts in the near future.
Ipswich City Council's health and community safety committee recommended to council that kick starting the auditing process be examined further.
Chair of the committee, Cr Sheila Ireland, said she was supportive of the move and the QT understands the council will proceed with it.
All licensed food businesses in Brisbane have been audited and have received a star rating.
The Brisbane City Council website says that "businesses receive a food safety star rating at the end of a food safety audit conducted by an authorised Brisbane City Council officer".
A food business can receive up to five stars for an "excellent performer, fully compliant with the Food Act 2006 and overall very high standard of food safety management practices".,
The star rating then goes to four stars for "very good performers", three for 'gcood" and two for "poor" performers with a " low level of compliance with the Food Act 2006 with more effort required".
Businesses receiving no stars are rated as "non compliant performers, signifying "a general failure to comply with the Food Act 2006 with major effort required to rectify issues".
Cr Ireland said the Ipswich move to a rating system was bringing the city into line with Gold Coast, Brisbane and Logan councils.
"I think it is wonderful that council will work with our food people to help them with their hygiene and back of house to lift their standard of food," she said.
"People when they go to a restaurant can look at a certificate or a plate on the wall to tell them how many stars it is, up to a five star rating. Our (health and community safety) department will be doing the ratings."
Cr Ireland said council officers would then work with any businesses that fail to measure up to improve their standards.
Dusty's Bar and BBQ publican Mark Dale said he was confident his business would rate highly in the audit.
"I'm all for it if it helps our business and I will proudly post the rating up," he said.
"To get a five rating would be good advertising.
"I would imagine us and a few of the other businesses in the street will get a five (rating) quite comfortably. I imagine if anyone gets a low rating they won't be too schmick to put it on their front window."
Raj Sharma owns Indian Mehfil in Ipswich and also runs Indian Mehfil Brisbane where he has four stars for being categorised as "very good".
"I think all food businesses must do everything required by the law because we are dealing with food and contamination can cause humongous problems," he said.
He did say it was tough for smaller businesses to be compared with big players
"They need to find a balance and take feedback from the food businesses as well," he said.
"You can't compare a mum and dad operated business with the Hilton with all their resources. That is not comparing apples with apples.
"I think we should categorise businesses (according to size) and have a rating based on that."