Under the NSW Food Regulation Partnership, Council is responsible for monitoring and enforcement of all retail food businesses within the Shire. Council inspects all retail premises on an annual basis to check compliance with the Food Safety Standards. Food businesses that are registered with Council include:
- retail food outlets, such as cafes, restaurants and takeaway stores
- mobile food outlets
- school canteens
- childcare centres that provide food
- home based food businesses & bed and breakfasts
The ‘Scores on Doors’ program gives food businesses a star rating after an unannounced routine inspection by Council’s Environmental Health Officer. Using a standardised food safety checklist the star rating reflects the food businesses performance. 5 stars is Excellent, 4 stars is Very Good and 3 stars is Good. A certificate is issued by Council to be positioned in a place visible to customers, usually in the business' front window or door. Businesses who have critical food safety breaches do not receive a certificate.
Council also investigates complaints about food businesses. Complaints that are investigated include:
- foreign items found in food
- unhygienic food handling
- single cases of food borne illness
- the sale of food passed its ‘use by’ date
- dirty food shops
- pests sighted in kitchen or dining areas.
Complaints and enquires are important to Council as they assist with the regulation of food businesses.
The NSW Food Authority also maintains a Name and Shame register on their website. The register lists the details of penalties and fines that have been issued to food shops throughout NSW for serious breaches of food regulations and safety standards.