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My next couple of blogs will be focusing on the Scores on Doors scheme that is run as a joint venture between the NSW Food Authority and local councils.

According to the NSW Food Authority’s web site the goal is to:

“Scores on Doors allows the public to know how well food businesses are complying with food safety and hygiene requirements. The program requires participating businesses to display a certificate showing a star rating ranging from three stars, indicating a ‘good’ level of food safety compliance, to five stars, indicating an ‘excellent’ level of food safety compliance.”

So these blogs will be covering the topics of:

–        How does Scores on Doors Work?

–        What is the scoring system for Scores on Doors?

–        What are the problems with Scores on Doors?

–        What is good about Scores on Doors?

–        How badly can you fail and still pass?

–        Is a restaurant with 3-stars Scores on Doors safe to eat at?

–        Would my kitchen pass Scores on Doors?

–        Scores on Doors and temperature

–        Scores on Doors and hand washing

–        How can Scores on Doors be improved?

If you haven’t guessed by those topics, I’m against Scores on Doors as it is.

I think the concept is great. As a consumer it is great to know which restaurants are safe to eat at and which ones are pushing the legal boundaries.

My problem is with the final outcome. A restaurant will end up with:

–        5 stars = Excellent “The business has achieved the highest level of compliance with food safety standards.”

–        4 stars = Very good – “The business has very good food safety practices in place. Some minor areas where standards were not met will need to be addressed.”

–        3 stars = Good – “The business has a good standard of food safety compliance. A number of areas, although not serious, need to be corrected.”

It would also imply that there are 2 and 1 star restaurants that are below average – but there aren’t. Below 3 stars is a failure.

But here’s the big question – would you eat at a 3-star restaurant?

First (or next) I look at how Scores on Doors works.