The Scores on Doors accreditation program is catching on amongst Eden eateries.
Sprout café and Pizzaholic have already signed up and several more food businesses have expressed interest, according to Bega Valley Shire Council environmental health coordinator, Greg O’Donnell.
Scores on Doors is a state wide program run by local councils in conjunction with the NSW Food Authority to encourage greater awareness of food safety.
There are no fees to be part of the program, and participation is voluntary.
“I think it’s a pretty important message we are trying to get across to those in the food industry,” Mr O’Donnell said.
Scores on Doors is aimed at food service businesses that process and sell food in NSW that is ready-to-eat, intended for immediate consumption, and potentially hazardous which means it may require special handling to be safe, such as temperature control.
These businesses include restaurants, takeaways, pubs, hotels, cafes, bakeries and clubs.
The scheme requires participating businesses to display a certificate showing a star rating ranging from three stars, indicating a ‘good’ level of food safety compliance, to five stars, indicating an 'excellent' level of food safety compliance.
The rating is assigned after an unannounced routine inspection by council Environmental Health Officers.
A certificate is then issued by council and positioned in a place highly visible to customers, usually in the business' front window or door.
Mr O’Donnell said as the food business has an ever present threat of food going off and hygiene standards being met, the program is a great way of acknowledging proper food practices.
“To recognise the effort put in, council needs to promote the good work of those involved in the program to their customers,” Mr O’Donnell said.
It had its official launch in the Bega Valley Shire at a retail and food industry group meeting in Merimbula recently and is now set for greater promotion.
“Over time, we would like a lot more people to be aware of the program, to acknowledge those businesses who put in the effort to present a high level of food safety and high level of food hygiene for people to eat in the local area.”
Mr O’Donnell said from a tourism perspective being involved in the program also highlights the importance of the hospitality industry within the Bega Valley Shire.
Business owners who would like to know more about the program should contact Greg O’Donnell for an information package.
“Once they have read the information and decide they want to participate they can then get back in touch with council,” Mr O’Donnell said.
Mr O’Donnell can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 6499 2483.