Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)
Hundreds Caught out over New Food Laws
WE'VE probably all heard the story about the food inspector who will only ever eat at one North Coast food outlet because she believes it's the only one that complies satisfactorily with health regulations.
It's possible the story is an urban myth which emerged around the middle of last year, just before the NSW Government introduced new legislation requiring local government authorities to report on their food regulatory activities - including complaints received, investigations and subsequent action.
Last Sunday the NSW Food Authority released figures on the activities of local government following the first six months of the new legislation, to the end of 2008. You can see its detailed report on its website, www.foodauthority.nsw (http://www.foodauthority.nsw).
gov.au, but here's a local snapshot.
Most complaints concerned hygiene and handling of food and, of all the food outlets in the Lismore City Council area, 259 were deemed as 'high-risk' but only seven were subject to inspections.
Ballina Shire Council had 30 high-risk establishments and 12 of those were visited by inspectors - not a bad performance and perhaps due to discerning seafood diners on the coast.
Trendy Byron Shire had 380 high-risk establishments but they're not so paranoid about food poisoning in Byron apparently, as only 15 were subject to inspections. …