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Eat Safe Gold Coast

An exciting new initiative for food safety in our city which gives businesses an opportunity to promote themselves on the basis of their food safety performance.

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Eat Safe Gold Coast

Eat Safe Gold Coast is a food safety rating scheme that allows businesses to promote their great efforts in hygiene and cleanliness to their customers.

Food safety rating schemes operate alongside regulatory systems and have been effective in reducing food related illnesses in cities across the world such as New York, Los Angeles, Auckland, Toronto and London. Closer to home, Brisbane City and Logan City have already implemented the Eat Safe program and are reaping the benefits of improved food safety and assisting their food businesses to promote themselves in new ways.


Food business operators

To agree to participate in displaying your rating, complete the Eat Safe agreement application and download the Eat Safe Gold Coast agreement guide.

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 gain the best star rating, please review the guides and checklists on our Eat Safe Gold Coast resources page.

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Eat Safe Gold Coast below.

Search Eat Safe Gold Coast star ratings

All licensed food businesses throughout the city are provided with a ‘star rating’ based on an assessment of their food safety management practices.

To apply for an Eat Safe assessment review and regrade, complete an
Eat Safe assessment review/regrade request form, including the relevant supporting information as detailed on the form. Be sure to review the Regrade assessment applications and assessment review applications guidelines first.

Find out more about the stars and search the star ratings.

Business licensing

Information about the permits and licenses required for the operation of food businesses on the Gold Coast is available from our Permits and 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 or for an enrolment application form, visit our food safety training page.

Related information

Jump to key information
  • What is Eat Safe Gold Coast?

    Eat Safe Gold Coast was launched in November 2017 to provide all licensed food businesses throughout the city with a ‘star rating’ based on an assessment of their food safety management practices.

    City of Gold Coast Environmental Health Officers have conducted assessments against the relevant requirements of the Food Act 2006, the Food Safety Standards and good management practices and issued each food business with a star rating. Food businesses who have signed the Eat Safe Gold Coast legal agreement titled ‘Agreement to Display’ can use the star rating to market their business to customers to boost confidence in the safety and quality of their food.

    The new scheme will ensure the City’s food industry continues to be among the world’s best in safety standards as well as introduce incentives for operators to continue to improve their food safety management practices.

    Food safety rating schemes have been effective in reducing food related illnesses in cities across the world such as New York, Los Angeles, Auckland, Toronto and London. Closer to home, Brisbane City and Logan City have already implemented the Eat Safe program.

    Food businesses rated three (3) stars and above can opt-in to have their rating publicly displayed within their premises and on the City’s website. Customers can search for the rating of their favourite eating establishment or search for a list of food businesses in a particular suburb via a link on the City’s website.

  • What are the rating levels?

    5 stars - Excellent performer – Fully compliant with the Food Act 2006 and overall very high standard of food safety management practices.

    4 stars - Very good performer – High standard of compliance with the Food Act 2006 and overall good standard of food safety management practices.

    3 stars - Good performer – Good level of compliance with the Food Act 2006 and overall acceptable standard of food safety management practices.

    2 stars - Poor performer – Low level of compliance with the Food Act 2006 with more effort required.

    0 stars - Non-compliant performer – A general failure to comply with the Food Act 2006 with major effort required to rectify issues.

  • What are the benefits?

    Eat Safe Gold Coast provides benefits to food businesses, consumers and the City of Gold Coast.

    For businesses:

    • reward and recognition for high performing businesses
    • gives the Gold Coast’s food industry a competitive edge as it leads to improved safety standards as businesses strive to achieve high ratings
    • assists food businesses to have an improved understanding of where their business stands in terms of food safety when compared to their competitors.

    For consumers:

    • provides consumers with confidence in the Gold Coast food industry which is particularly important given the large number of visitors to the city. Visitors, as well as locals, will be able to search for eating venues and make an informed decision to eat at premises awarded 3 stars and above ratings.

    For regulators:

    • allows the City to focus officer resources in areas where they are most needed by prioritising assessments of non-compliant food businesses
    • encourages a positive relationship between food business operators and City Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) as EHOs work with businesses to achieve higher ratings.
  • How will my food premises get its star rating?

    City Environmental Health Officers conduct assessments of all food businesses that are licensed with the City to assess compliance with the Food Act 2006 and Food Safety Standards. The officer undertaking the assessment will also note any good management practices that have been implemented at a particular food business.

    From this assessment, a star rating will be issued to an eligible food business as an indication of how the business performed on the day of its assessment. The assessment takes into consideration all the food handling processes at that business.

  • 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 record of assessment 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. 

  • Can I improve my star rating?

    Yes, if improvements are made to food safety management practices between assessments, then businesses may achieve a higher rating when next assessed.

    If businesses make improvements and don’t want to wait for their next scheduled assessment, they can apply to have a regrade assessment undertaken at a time earlier than the primary assessment schedule specifies.

    To apply for a review or upgrade of your Eat Safe assessment, you will need to complete an application form. Please ensure that you include the relevant supporting information, as detailed on the form, with your application.

    Find an Eat Safe review regrade request application form in the 'Forms & applications' section of this page.

  • I already comply with the Food Act and the Food Safety Standards, what extra do I need to do to achieve a 4 or 5 star rating?

    A number of good management practices above and beyond minimum compliance standards are required for your business to achieve a rating above 3 stars. Good management practices include having an accredited food safety program or having a sufficient number of records kept and up to date in relation to cleaning, temperature control, maintenance, pest control, and staff training. See the Food safety checklist for further detail. 

  • What if I disagree with my star rating?

    If you disagree with the star rating issued by the City Environmental Health Officer, you can request an assessment review. 

    Contact the relevant Senior Environmental Health Officer on 07 5667 5988.

  • Can I opt-out of the Eat Safe Gold Coast Scheme?

    Assessments undertaken by City Environmental Health Officers to determine compliance with the Food Act 2006 are mandatory for all food businesses. This enables the City to ensure that minimum food safety standards are being maintained. Based on these assessments, a star rating is calculated for each eligible business.

    When a food business achieves a rating of three stars or above, they can choose to have their good rating publicly displayed on their premises and promoted on the website. The display of the Eat Safe Gold Coast star rating is voluntary for food businesses.

  • How can I find out about a particular food premises’ rating?

    All eligible licensed food businesses have their details published on the Eat Safe Gold Coast web page on the City's website. Those businesses that are found to be good, very good and excellent performers (3, 4 and 5 star rated businesses) are able to have their rating displayed on the website, at the premises and on other marketing materials. Those businesses that choose not to opt-in or do not achieve a 3,4 or 5 star rating, have only their trading details published on the Eat Safe web page.

  • What happens to a two star and below rated premises?

    A zero (0) star rating indicates a failure to comply with minimum food safety standards. A business with a zero (0) star rating is required to undertake improvements to ensure they are complying with the relevant standards. City Environmental Health Officers work closely with these businesses to ensure that food hygiene is maintained and the business is not posing a risk to public safety. This may involve taking further enforcement action.  

    A business that scores a two (2) star rating will be required to make improvements that ensure their business is complying with the relevant standards. City Environmental Health Officers work closely with these businesses to ensure that food hygiene is maintained and the business is not posing a risk to public safety.

  • Can I be guaranteed a great dining experience from a 5 star business?

    The scheme and associated ratings assess food safety compliance, not service levels or taste of food. 

  • Why is the scheme not mandatory?

    All food businesses are assessed for compliance with the Food Act 2006 and the Food Safety Standards and eligible businesses are issued with a star rating based on compliance in conjunction with any good management practices. The voluntary component relates to the free marketing component that will be available to compliant businesses - those rated three (3) stars and higher. 

  • Why is City of Gold Coast not ‘naming and shaming’?

    Although all eligible food establishments receive a star rating, the legislation prohibits the City from publishing star rating information without the business owner's consent. As such, ratings are only shared for those businesses who are able to rate 3 stars or higher and who have also agreed to have their ratings shared.

  • What happens to the star rating when a business changes owners?

    If a new owner buys a restaurant and a new legal entity takes over the business, which is usually the case, they will be considered a new licence holder who will then be assessed and receive their own star rating.

    If the new owner just bought all the shares in the company and the same company ran the restaurant, the licence holder does not change and the rating remains in place.


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