NSW Food Authority serves up praise for Singleton

15 November 2019

Singleton Council’s food compliance program has proven to be industry-leading, according to the latest correspondence from the NSW Food Authority.

That means from paddock to plate, consumers can be confident Council is working with local retail food businesses to minimise foodborne illness, undertake important compliance and enforcement work, and be the providers of the most up-to-date food safety information.

Mark Ihlein, Council’s Director Planning and Infrastructure Services said the commendation was testimony to the dedication of staff in ensuring Singleton food businesses are educated about safe food production, compliance and procedures.

“Council submits an annual activity report to the NSW Food Authority, outlining data on our food safety inspection programs,” he said.

“The Authority has praised our compliance activities, regarding them as best practice, with no areas of concern for the monitoring of food premises for public health risks.

“Council has also implemented a risk-based inspection frequency approach to food safety inspections, where inspection frequencies are based on a combination of the types and methods of food production and the previous inspection history of the premises.

“This allows our Environmental Health Officers to focus more time on the businesses that need it — those that are deemed a higher risk or have struggled in the past to meet safety standards and procedures.

“This result is testimony to the hard work and dedication of Council’s Environmental Health Team, who are committed to exceeding benchmarks and ensuring Singleton’s food businesses are informed so that they can provide safe food.”

Singleton food businesses are encouraged to participate in the NSW Food Authority’s Scores on Doors, a program based on regular food premises inspections that aims to improve food safety standards as well as reduce instances of foodborne illness in the retail food industry.

Mr Ihlein said customers could look out for purple and green certificates and stickers on display in their favourite eatery so they know what’s happening in the kitchen.

“Singleton has been involved in the Scores on Doors program for six years and it is a great way for businesses to show customers just how seriously they take food hygiene and the results they have achieved by displaying a Scores on Doors rating on their door,” he said.

“Singleton is very fortunate to have a high level of compliance among our food businesses and a great variety of fantastic places to go out to dinner. Customers can dine safe in the knowledge the establishment has met and exceeded minimum hygiene and food safety standards.

“We encourage all food businesses to be involved in the program as an extra reason for people to choose their restaurant, along with great food and service.”

NSW Food Authority benchmarks include:

  • Conducted inspections of all high and medium risk fixed food businesses.
  • Inspected all childcare facilities serving food
  • Provided written direction to businesses that failed their inspection
  • Implementation of escalatory enforcement action
  • Carried out inspections of high and medium temporary food stalls and mobile food vans
  • Provision of additional services – provision of food safety information and technical advice, provision of training