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Monday, February 11, 2008

No stars for Victorian food report

I'll leave it to the experts to judge the report of the inquiry into food regulation in Victoria by the Competition and Efficiency Commission and the Government response to the report released yesterday. However it's another disappointing result for those who believe greater transparency about breaches of standards would better inform the marketplace, and lead to improved standards, as evidenced by experience elsewhere.

While the Australian Financial Review reports the outcome under the headline "Sub-par food outlets to be named", the Government response was to agree "with the spirit" of the recommendation that there should be a mechanism to publish details of those convicted for breaches of food laws. It will 'examine' amendments to legislation to require this information to be included in annual reports of the regulators. This falls short even of the Commission recommendation that a public register of successful prosecutions be established. What is proposed will mean that publicly available information about what happened in court will be made publicly available in a report up to 12 months later. Big deal!

The Commission report (10.3 - 10.4) discussed broader issues concerning a rating system but did not recommend this approach although the reasons aren't very clear. It acknowledges that some councils in Victoria already publish ratings. The Government response says it is "not inclined at present to support the establishment of a central website of the results of council inspections of restaurants and cafes".

Just far too timid an approach. The NSW commitment (15 August 2007) to doing something along these lines has so far come to nothing.


  1. re food outlets and whether they are good or bad

    royalty used to be the only people who ate entree, main meal and dessert.
    it is normal in a food outlet now

    the stomach is only 1-2 fists in size so serving sizes of things could be reduced
    see Gray's Anatomy a standard medical textbook when you overfill the stomach despite the fact that we obviously can and do do that

  2. the fed and the vic has already done it in school canteens is establishing a green, amber and red food list which i suppose will be used to judge how good food outlets must promote green foods, limitamber, really limit red and soft drink and confectionary are banned in schools
    see or something like that