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An award-winning education campaign is achieving impressive results, with a dramatic decrease in the number of food handling businesses being closed in Canterbury Bankstown.
Administrator Richard Colley said the City boasts 1,540 food operators, the highest number in NSW.
“Our City is a very popular food destination and that’s a reputation we need to protect,” Mr Colley said.
“It also employs around 11,000 people so the food sector is vital to the local economy and our residents.
“With so many people dependent on the sector, we need to ensure our operators have food safety front and centre. By doing this, they place the health of our residents and visitors first, and ensure their continued success.
“It’s important all of our local food proprietors are handling and preparing food safely and to industry standards, regardless of whether they’re a takeaway shop, restaurant or the local butcher.”
Since 2013, Council’s Canterbury-Bankstown Business Advisory Service (CBBAS) has conducted free safe food handling workshops each month for local food operators.
These are held in English, Vietnamese, Chinese and Arabic, and have been recognised with a NSW Food Authority award.
Castello Bakery operator, Karim El Assidi, said he was glad he took the time to attend the two-hour workshop.
“It was important for me to understand how to properly prepare food in Australia and understand the legislation around food handling,” the Bankstown business owner said.
“After the course I went back and taught my staff a few of the lessons I learned and applied them in my business.”
“Education is key and the results speak for themselves,” Mr Colley said.
“More than 600 businesses have attended our workshops with 253 this year alone, almost double the previous year.
“And the food operators are heeding the message. In 2014-15, we conducted 2,096 inspections, issued 173 fines, and closed 25 businesses. In 2015-16, there were 1,910 inspections, 105 fines and 15 closures.
“With the help of our businesses, we’re hoping this trend will continue.”
CBBAS will be holding more Safe Food Handling Workshops in 2017. Local food operators can call the CBBAS on 9707 9227 to book a spot.
8/12/2016 6:44 PM