Eurobodalla retailers maintain high standard of food safety

FOOD INSPECTION: Eurobodalla Council’s Environmental Health Officer Lisa Motbey conducts a food inspection at a Moruya food retailer.
FOOD INSPECTION: Eurobodalla Council’s Environmental Health Officer Lisa Motbey conducts a food inspection at a Moruya food retailer.

The Eurobodalla community can have a high level of confidence in local food services, with Eurobodalla food retailers consistently achieving 95 per cent compliance to the Food Standards Code.

There are 230 food retail businesses in Eurobodalla, including restaurants, takeaways and supermarkets, as well as 49 market stalls and 15 food vans.

Eurobodalla Council has conducted a food inspection program in partnership with the NSW Food Authority since 2009.

Over the past 12 months, the council carried out 400 inspections. Of these, 31 required follow-up action, such as re-inspections, warning letters or improvement notices, which in every case it led to appropriate remedial action by the business.

The council also received 12 complaints from consumers over the past 12 months – these were responded to within 24 hours and almost all cases included an on-site inspection.

The council’s divisional manager of Environmental Services, Deb Lenson said residents and visitors could have a high level of confidence in the food services of the shire, however occasionally it was necessary to take stronger action to maintain this high standard.

“Eurobodalla Shire Council recognises the important role food retailers play in the economy of the shire, both as employers and as an attraction for tourists,” she said.

“Working with food retailers to maintain the high level of food safety in the shire is an important role for Council and a major factor in the continued success of the industry.”

The council has drafted a new Food Inspection Policy, currently on public exhibition to seek community feedback.

It rewards businesses demonstrating a high level of compliance to the Food Standards Code 2016 by introducing a risk-based inspection regime, offering food businesses an opportunity to reduce their inspection frequency.

It also provides a marketing advantage to high-performing businesses who can display “scores on doors” certificates, giving consumers the added confidence that food for sale is safe for consumption.

To view the new policy, visit the public exhibition page of the council’s website at www.esc.nsw.gov.au/haveyoursay from Wednesday, October 18.