Program praised

A reduction in the complaints relating to food, public health, pollution and public safety has been attributed to an innovative program developed by Bankstown City Council.

The Environmental Health Program aims to safeguard and improve the health of the community by raising awareness and regular assessments in a number of areas including public health, food safety, swimming pool fencing compliance, Pollution control, Environmental Health investigations and participation in health related initiatives.

The program has seen a significant reduction in the number of complaints as well as improvements in health standards and conditions for the local community.

Mayor of Bankstown, Khal Asfour, said the general welfare of residents was an important issue for Council to address particularly with its diverse community.

“It’s always a challenge when you have a diverse community such as the one we have here in Bankstown’s but there’s no compromising when it comes to the health and wellbeing of our residents.

“Thankfully, our community understands this and have been playing their part in ensuring such standards are followed.”

One area that Council is winning the battle in is through its free Introductory Food Handling training for all food handlers in the city.

The program is conducted in five languages – English, Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Since the introduction of the food handling training, Council officers have seen a number of improvements, particularly with businesses who were previously issued with a penalty infringement notice for failing to maintain appropriate food handling standards.

Some of these businesses are now considered the best in the city for food handling and hygiene.

Council’s efforts in this area have not gone unnoticed.

Its food-handling program was recognised by NSW Food Authority who selected Council as Food Surveillance Champion Award last year.