Western Australians will be able to go online to check up on restaurants or other food businesses under a new plan to publish the names of food businesses that break health laws.
Health Minister Jim McGinty said the names of food businesses convicted of health breaches would be published under a new section of the Department of Health website.
“People have a right to know whether the places they are eating in or where their food is being processed are operating safely,” Mr McGinty said.
“The details of prosecutions have always been publicly available, but the new website will make it easier for people to access the information.
“While the incidence of food-borne illnesses in WA is relatively low, they can cause serious illness.”
The website currently lists prosecutions that have taken place under the Food Standards Code or WA Health Act over the past 12 months, provided on a voluntary basis by local governments.
However, a section of the new Food Bill currently before Parliament will mean that all future successful prosecutions will be published by the Department of Health.
A total of 17 Perth food premises have been listed following conviction for practices including:
• unclean premises;
• food not protected from contamination;
• vermin on the premises;
• food stored at unsafe temperatures;
• dirty appliances; and
• selling food beyond its use-by-date.
The Minister said the website complemented health and safety initiatives already in place.
“Local governments routinely inspect and monitor food businesses for compliance with health regulations,” he said.
“In addition, they encourage food businesses to adopt voluntary endorsement programs which require the business to meet specific hygiene standards.
“The development of national food legislation has meant that higher risk food businesses are now required to have food safety plans.
“The vast majority of restaurants and food businesses in WA are doing the right thing and it is certainly not our intention to try to catch restaurants or food businesses out.
“Local government will continue to work with food businesses where problems have been identified and prosecution will continue to be a last resort.”
The new website can be found at: http://www.health.wa.gov.au/envirohealth/food/index.cfm
More information is available at http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au
Minister's office - 9422 3000