Know where you are eating out
The Queenstown Lakes District Council has released its first formal restaurant ratings with 32 food outlets in the district achieving a ‘‘C’ rating indicating room for improvement. The council’s Food Safety Bylaw 2011 states all food premises must comply with minimum standards for the likes of hygiene and training under legislation regulating the sale of food to the public. Council regulatory manager Lee Webster said the level of compliance and standard of food hygiene varied. The council had been working with food operators over the last year indicating a likely grading and giving tips on improvements, before the formal gradings were given for the first time. Of the 378 food premises assessed, 169 achieved an excellent A grade and 177 achieved a good B rating. A C grade indicated that a food premises was found to be average but it could score only a low 12 of a total 30 points. The council was working with those businesses, Mr Webster said. ‘‘Everyone we go and see we give advice and recommendations to meet requirements. Grade C are meeting requirements but there’s room for improvement and that’s what we need to focus on.’’ It was important for the community to be informed also and he hoped their preferences would also play a part in encouraging a ratings climb.