Australia's National Local Government Newspaper Online
|Editions > 2000 > July > Green||Saturday May 25, 2013 - Melbourne Time: 19:48:18|
EHOs no longer the enemy
In the absence of stricter legislative controls, Gosnells' Environmental Health Officer, Harvy Walkerden, believes the FoodSafe program is the perfect way to ensure food hygiene standards.
He said Gosnells was one of the first Councils to introduce the program devised by the Australian Institute of Environmental Health in 1996.
He said the program is simple to follow and enables those in the food industry to introduce changes themselves at minimum cost. For a mere $60 shops can purchase the FoodSafe package. It includes a video, manual, audit sheet and self testing for 'do it yourself' food safety training.
Along with the package, food outlets receive a visit from an Environmental Health Officer who guides them through the program.
The video is presented in mime so language and literacy issues are readily overcome. A voiceover is available in seven languages.
"We aim to ensure high food safety standards," Harvy Walkerden said.
"Inspections are carried out every two to three months, and more frequently if we detect a problem.
"However, since the introduction of FoodSafe, we have had greater cooperation, awareness and understanding of our position.
"We are not seen as the enemy any more. We are seen to be there to help food outlets improve their business.
"Businesses using the system are identified by the FoodSafe logo assuring customers of high standards."
The FoodSafe package is also taken to schools as part of food and nutrition classes. Likewise, Council's EHOs give lectures at Day Care Centres where food is prepared. Workshops for interested parties are also held at Council.
"FoodSafe has made this job more rewarding," Harvy Walkerden said.
"We have achieved more in the six years we have been running this program than we did in the previous 14 years."
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