Is the NSW name and shame web site working or are we just seeing political statistics.

Accoridng to the NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson, the number of sites listed on the Food Authority’s “Name and Shame” register has dropped in the last couple of years. 785 eateries were listed in 2011/12 with 1337 penalty notices between them, a decline from 1309 business listed in 2009/10 with 2329 penalties. (Source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/breaking-news/dodgy-nsw-eateries-cleaning-up-act-govt/story-fnhrvfuw-1226614341978)

I think there could be a couple of reasons for this:

1. What council wants to list restaurants because it makes the area look bad? So it actually takes commitment by the council to list a failing restaurant. The break down by council shows that there are differing levels of commitment.

2. There was a big push back in 2009/10 and it revealed all these restaurants that could be fixed. Now we want to feel safe, so the push is off.

3. Food safety awareness is actually having an impact. We know that more restaurants are approaching us to buy temperature loggers because they are now aware of their legal requirements. 10 years ago and no-one knew what they were obliged to do. The standards haven’t changed, but people’s knowledge has.

Am I a bit too sceptical? Are the figures just statistics used by politicians, or has industry cleaned up its act?