Avoid Unhygienic Restaurants With National Food Safety Lists

perishable If you're going to splurge on dining out, the last thing you want to worry about is food poisoning. Eat healthy (in both senses) with our national guide to lists of restaurants served with penalty notices.

After our post earlier this week about the NSW list of restaurants busted for unhygienic practices, several readers asked if there were similar lists in other states. The answer is "not always" -- no other state seems to have emulated the NSW search functionality for a start -- but we've rounded up all the examples we could find.

Such listings are often partial, in part because there are several levels of government involved. Food safety standards are set nationally but generally enforced at the state government and local council level.) If you know of a listing that we've missed, please share it in the comments.

It might seem a tad harsh to boycott a restaurant simply because it appears on this sort of list: a single offence might reflect one dodgy staff member who has long since been given the boot, or a potentially risky practice that didn't actually result in anyone being harmed. But in reality, going out for a meal always involves a choice, and checking food hygiene is as good a basis for knocking some contenders off your shortlist as any. (As ever, doing a quick search on the restaurant name will often turn up useful information.)

NSW

The NSW Food Authority Register Of Penalty Notices is very slick, letting you search by suburb, restaurant name or even offence type (yes, you can sicken yourself by typing in 'rats'). It would be great to see this kind of system for other states, especially on the more populated east coast.

Queensland

Queensland Health's prosecutions list includes a list of major offences that have resulted in prosecution, though in restaurant terms the list currently only includes a related group of breaches by a branch of Domino's in Caboolture.

Western Australia

WA Public Health's Publication of names of offenders list offers information on recent offences, but only in PDF format. Thanks to Grim for the original pointer to this.

While Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territoryand the ACT all maintain health departments and food safety programs, I couldn't find any online lists of offenders.

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Comments

    You're welcome Angus =)

    I still buy food regularly from one of bakeries on WA's list of offenders, but they just didn't have the appropriate license when they opened. I've also eaten regularly at one of the restaurants, but I stopped that once I saw it on the list.

    Emperor's Court in James Street, Perth... I used to eat their most weekends! That isn't good.

    you forgot to mention tasmania - I know its small but last I checked it was still a state

      Absolutely correct, my apologies. Tasmania does turn out to be another "nothing going" state as far as online info is concerned, but it still deserves a mention . . . Fixed now.

    The NSW list even has the ogligatory Google Maps mashup - http://gotgastro.com/ . Unfortunately it seems to have fallen in to disrepair slightly. :-(

      http://gotgastro.com hasn't fallen into disrepair, it's just sleeping. :-)

      I can't reliably spin off an automated job to update the site because of inconsistencies in the formatting of the data on the NSW Food Authority website.

      It makes updating it a fairly painstaking process.

    The Fitzroyalty Fitzroy local news blog is fighting an FOI battle with the City of Yarra council to release this information. More details here: http://indolentdandy.net/fitzroyalty/2009/06/09/food-hygiene-in-fitzroy-preliminary-findings/.

    In Victoria the state government (Labor) opposes releasing this information. In NSW the state government (Labor) has taken the initiative in releasing this information. Why the inconsistency?

    NSW is leading in consumer advocacy and public health. Every other state should be embarrassed by their antiquated secrecy.

    I encourage all food and hyperlocal bloggers to make an FOI to their local goverment to demand the release of this important public health information.

    More info on the SA story here: http://foi-privacy.blogspot.com/2009/05/anything-more-than-stomachs-rumbling-in.html

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