Eat Safe Gold Coast is a food safety initiative for all licensed food businesses throughout the city.
Eat Safe Gold Coast enables businesses to promote themselves with a 'star rating' based on their food safety performance.
Food safety rating schemes operate alongside regulatory systems and have been effective in reducing food related illnesses in cities across the world.
Eat Safe star ratings
City of Gold Coast Environmental Health Officers conduct assessments against the relevant requirements of the Food Act 2006, the Food Safety Standards and good management practices to licensed food businesses throughout the city.
They have assigned a 'star rating' based on these assessments.
This will ensure the city's food industry continues to be among the world's best in safety standards.
Food businesses who achieve three, four or five stars can use the star rating to market their business.
Businesses can have their rating displayed on stickers and certificates so customers can be confident in the safety and quality of their food. Customers will be able to search these star ratings online, with a new Eat Safe register coming soon.
The business demonstrates a high level of compliance with the Food Act 2006 and excellent safety management practices.
The business demonstrates a high level of compliance with the Food Act 2006 and very good food safety management practices.
The business demonstrates a high level of compliance with the Food Act 2006 and good food safety management practices.
Rating not displayed
There are a number of reasons why a business may not be displaying its star rating. It may be because the business:
- received a food safety rating of three or more stars but has chosen not to have its star rating made public.
- recently opened as a new business or changed owners and has not yet been rated
- is a domestic water distributor or short term, temporary food stall. These activities are not given a star rating
- is a food vehicle licensed in another local government area which does not have an 'Eat Safe' program
- sells food deemed to be low-risk and therefore does not require a food licence under state legislation
- received a food safety rating of less than three stars
- has not applied for a food licence, even though it is required to. This is an offence under the Food Act 2006.
What are the benefits of Eat Safe?
- reward and recognition for businesses with good food safety practices
- gives the Gold Coast's food industry a competitive edge and improved safety standards
- assists food businesses to have a measurable understanding of their comparison to their competitors.
- provides consumers with confidence in the Gold Coast food industry
- locals and visitors will be able to search for venues and make an informed decision on where to eat based on star ratings, with an online register coming soon.
City of Gold Coast regulators:
- encourages a positive relationship between food business operators and City Environmental Health Officers (EHOs)
- allows the City to focus officer resources in areas where they are most needed – by prioritising assessments of non-compliant food businesses.
Eat Safe assessment details
What does the rating assessment involve?
The food safety rating assessment is very similar to the type of assessment food businesses have received in the past. City Environmental Health Officers undertake assessments of all licensed food premises and assess all food safety risks associated with the food business.
The results of the assessment will be formally documented and recorded. The food licensee or business manager will receive a copy of the assessment results.
The assessment is a collection of evidence of food safety performance and is collected via:
- visual inspections
- discussions with staff
- examination of any documentation that may support food safety standards, such as:
- an accredited HACCP plan
- an ISO 22000:2005 plan
- temperature records
- training records
- pest control schedules
- cleaning and maintenance records
- stock rotation schedules
- waste collection schedule.
Additional points are given to food businesses with good management practices, e.g. keeping of documents and records that show safety standards are being met and will continue to be met.
Recommendations or requirements for improvement will be documented and provided to the business in the report following the assessment.
How frequently will my food business be assessed?
City of Gold Coast visits all licensed food businesses at least once every 12 months.
Those who perform poorly are assessed more frequently. City Environmental Health Officers will also conduct further assessments if a complaint is received.
What is not rated?
While consumers are familiar with star rating systems for a variety of business types, it is important to understand that Eat Safe Gold Coast is rating food safety practices. The rating does not take into account how 'nice' the food is, the quality of the service you may receive or the relative standard of the business (e.g. views, ambience, menu options, wine selection or availability of other services like high chairs, etc).
How to participate in Eat Safe
To agree to participate in displaying your rating, complete the Eat Safe agreement application and download the Eat Safe Gold Coast agreement guide(PDF, 180KB)
The Eat Safe Gold Coast legal agreement guide is designed to help businesses understand the agreement and its conditions. It is recommended that businesses download and read this guide prior to signing the agreement.
To help your business succeed, review the guides and checklists on Eat Safe Gold Coast resources
Application for Eat Safe agreement
Use this form to agree to display your Eat Safe rating.
Submit online form
Review/regrade assessment request
Use this form to apply for a regrade or review of your Eat Safe assessment.
Be sure to read the Regrade/Review guidelines(PDF, 20KB)
Submit online form
Information about the permits and licenses required for the operation of food businesses on the Gold Coast is available from our Permits & licensing page.
Food safety training
City of Gold Coast conducts regular food safety training courses (non-accredited), aimed at providing the city's licensed food business staff with an understanding of the causes and the prevention of food-borne illness (food poisoning).
For information about the course, visit our Food safety training page.