Star ratings: Eat Safe Brisbane

Eat Safe Brisbane is a food safety star rating program that aims to improve food safety compliance to ensure safe food for consumers.

To ensure minimum food safety standards, Eat Safe Brisbane food safety audits are mandatory. On the day of your food safety audit, Council will assess food safety practices within your business. When the audit is complete, you will receive a food safety star rating.

You can improve your star rating at any time, and access benefits and discounts. You can choose to display your star rating, if your business is rated three stars and above.

Getting your Eat Safe Brisbane star rating 

You can achieve a high Eat Safe Brisbane star rating by following the Eat Safe guidelines and fact sheets and establishing a good food safety culture. The same checklists that will be used by the Environmental Health Officers during the audit are available here for you to use to prepare, they show what you need to do to comply with the Food Act 2006 and the Food Safety Standards.

As part of the inspection when applying for your food business licence, an Environmental Health Officer will audit and assess all food safety risks and the food safety practices and procedures in your business to calculate your star rating. The higher your star rating, the higher your discounts for renewals, and you are subject to fewer inspections because you are already showing that you perform well.

After the initial inspection, how frequent will the audits be?

After your food business licence is approved and your initial star rating is given to you, Council will audit your business at a frequency aligned with your star rating. Very good and excellent performers receive fewer audits. This allows Council to focus on food businesses performing poorly. You will be issued with a new star rating after each audit.

Number of stars Star rating definitions
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
No stars Non compliant performer, a general failure to comply with the Food Act 2006 with major effort required to rectify issue

Benefits: fee incentives, free promotional tools, fewer audits

Since the introduction of Eat Safe Brisbane, there has been a significant increase in community awareness of food hygiene standards when dining out. A good star rating inspires confidence for potential customers to choose your business, knowing that it meets a standard of hygiene.

Food businesses with an Eat Safe star rating of three stars or more receive the following benefits:

  • annual fee savings for renewals
  • fewer audits
  • free listing on Eat Safe search on Council's website and app
  • free promotional tools to display rating at the premises – Council provides free stickers and a certificate
  • owners can use the Eat Safe Brisbane logo to promote their star rating to customers (e.g. on the business website or via their social media channels), providing a competitive edge for their business
  • customer confidence in their business.

Your star rating sets your renewal fees

The higher your Eat Safe star rating, the higher discount you get on your renewal fees. Your renewal fee is based on the lowest Eat Safe star rating you receive within the renewal period.

Renewal fees for fixed premises, annual temporary stall or mobile food vehicles

This table provides information on food licence renewal fees based on floor area and star rating
Renewal fee based on area 5 star 4 star 3 star 0-2 star
Minor <250m2 $444.60 $666.90 $844.50 $889.15
Medium >250-1000m2 $607.30 $911.50 $1153.80 $1214.50
Major >1000m2 $1897.60 $2846.45 $3605.30 $3795.25

Conducting a self audit (if rated 4-5 stars)

Once you have a rating of four or five stars, you need to complete an annual self-audit.  This ensures food preparation, storage, handling and cleaning at your premises continues to meet legislative requirements and good food safety management practices.

Get reminder: You will be mailed a reminder when it is time to do the self-audit.

Do self-audit: Use the online form to conduct your audit, submit online, and keep a copy. Alternatively, use the PDF form to send your results to Council.

The self-audit online form is mobile/tablet-friendly, so you can move around your business as you inspect it. When you complete the form, a copy will automatically be sent to Council and you will be able to save a copy or send it to your email.

Keep a copy of the audit at your food business at all times. A Council Environmental Health Officer may request to see it during unannounced inspections.

If you identify a non-compliance during your self-audit, you need to take action as quickly as possible to fix the issue. You should review your processes, procedures and staff training to determine why the non-compliance occurred and appropriate actions are taken to ensure it does not happen again.

Council will be notified as part of your online self-audit and an Environmental Health Officer will determine if further investigation is required.

Getting your star rating reviewed or reassessed

If you disagree with your star rating you can make a formal application for an audit review, within five business days from the date of the audit. Complete the food business Eat Safe audit review online form, upload any supporting documentation and pay the fee.

Fee for audit review

This table provides information on fees for audit review of star rating
Type Fee
Audit review fee - for any floor area $363.90

If you have made improvements to your food safety management practices since your previous primary audit and want Council to reassess your star rating, you can request a reassessment audit for a fee via the online form.

How soon can you apply for reassessment?

  • 3-star rating or above can be reassessed after a six month period
  • 2-star rating or less can be reassessed after a three month period.

Note: A food business that is rated a 0 or 2 star rating can only progress to a 3 star rating at their next audit.

Fees for reassessment

This table provides information on fees for reassessment based on area
Reassessment audit based on area Fee
Minor <250m2 $885.50
Medium >250-1000m2 $1210.90
Major >1000m2 $3794.00

Frequently asked questions

Why is a business not displaying a star rating on the Eat Safe search?

A food business may not have their star rating displayed on the Eat Safe star rating search because:

  • the rating is less than three stars
  • the rating is three or more stars but the owner has not agreed to display the star rating
  • the annual food business licence fee has not been paid
  • the business has recently opened or changed owners and has not been audited yet.

Brisbane City Council cannot display the star rating without agreement from the business, due to restrictions in the Food Act 2006.

Eat Safe Brisbane aims to raise food safety awareness. Eat Safe assists the community to make informed food and dining choices. You may wish to speak to the business owner or a staff member about why their star rating is not displayed.

Why are businesses not showing on the Eat Safe search?

If you are unable to find a business on the Eat Safe star rating search, it may be because the business:

  • has a one-off temporary food business license, therefore, the business is not eligible to participate in the Eat Safe Brisbane scheme
  • is located outside the Brisbane City Council area. This may apply to businesses on the boundary of the greater Brisbane area or mobile food vehicles licensed by another Council in Queensland
  • sells food but does not require a food business licence under Queensland Government legislation e.g. convenience stores
  • has not applied for a food business licence, even though it is required to. This is an offence under the Food Act 2006.

Eat Safe Brisbane disclaimer

A. The food safety rating allocated to a food premise is the result of the most recent food safety audit undertaken by Brisbane City Council (“Council”) at the food premise. The score may not be representative of the overall, long-term food hygiene standards of the premise. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the data, Council cannot bear responsibility for any deterioration in standards that may occur between audits.

B. The ratings provided as part of the scheme are intended for information only and do not imply any warranty, guarantee or recommendation by Council concerning a food premise, including but not limited to, the condition, hygiene, quality of food or standard of operation of the food premise. Following a food safety audit, it may take up to 10 business days from the date of the audit for the new rating to appear on Council’s website.

C. Council will endeavour to ensure the content on the Eat Safe Brisbane web page is current, accurate and complete however it does not guarantee that it will be. Council will take action, within a reasonable period of time, to correct any error or inaccuracy which is brought to Council’s attention.

D. Council expressly disclaims all and any liability to any person or body for any direct or indirect injury, loss or damage incurred by use of, or reliance on, the information provided.

Last updated: 29 September 2023

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