Scores on Doors is based on a demerit system. That is, a venue gains points for the more things it gets wrong. Depending upon how many points they get will determine their final rating.

For 5-stars they can lose up to 3 points.

For 4-stars they can lose up to 8 points.

For 3-stars they can lose up to 15 points.

But wait, aren’t standards the minimum requirements?

So a 5-star restaurant is simply meeting its legal requirements for selling food to the public.

A 4-star restaurant is failing to meet its legal requirements but is still given a good outcome.

And a 3-star restaurant would imply that it is average, but it’s failing to meet its food safety requirements on a number of fronts.

Oh, and if they fail more than 15 points the penalty is – nothing. That’s right. Nothing. They don’t get a sticker for the window.

So all the consumer has to do is avoid restaurants with no stickers. Alas, it’s not that simple. The program in voluntary. It is up to each restaurant to decide if they want to participate.

It is also up to each council to decide if they want to participate.

So a lack of sticker could mean the council isn’t participating, the restaurant isn’t participating, the restaurant didn’t want to display its 4-star award, or it bombed right out.

But maybe it’s very easy to lose points, and losing 15 points is no big deal.

Guess again. Currently a restaurant can lose a maximum of 120 points.

Here are some examples of problems and the points:

–        Food handlers wearing dirty clothes – one point

–        Single use items (e.g. drinking straws and disposable utensils) being reused – one point

–        Animals in areas where food is handled – one point

–        Cracked or chipped glasses and plates – one point

–        Food handlers smoking and spitting (yes spitting) in food handling areas … wait for it … four points.

Now imagine a restaurant failing those 5 issues and still getting a 4 star rating. They pass and would appear to pass reasonably well.

Spitting – four points!!!!

So how does Scores on Doors work? I’m not sure that it does.

In my next blog I cover the specifics of the Scores on Doors Food Premises Assessment Report

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