Whitehorse City Council

5 Star Food Hygiene Assessment System

Whitehorse City Council introduced the 5-Star Food Hygiene Assessment System in 1996 as its principal means for evaluating hygiene standards for high and medium risk food premises such as aged and child care facilities, hospitals, restaurants, cafes, take-away food shops, bakeries, delis and hotels.

The system operates within a legislative framework under the Victorian Food Act 1984 and Food Standards Code. The aim of the Food Hygiene Assessment System is to improve the safety of food being manufactured, handled, stored and sold in the municipality. The system provides meaningful and relevant information to food proprietors, consumers and Council about the standard of food safety being achieved in the municipality.  

The rating of premises is designed to achieve two objectives:

  • To provide a measure of food safety performance and the level of compliance with legislative requirements.
  • To manage non-compliance and establish a system for follow inspections.

The assessment score is converted to a star rating which relates to the overall food safety performance of the business as shown in the table below:  

Star Rating

Percentage Assessment Score

Whitehorse City Council Grading

Department of Health Reporting

5 stars 91-100% Excellent (incorporating best practice) Compliant
4 stars as above Excellent Compliant
3 stars 81-90% Satisfactory Compliant
2 stars 71-80% Unsatisfactory Major non-compliance
1 star 70% and below Poor Critical non-compliance

A 4 star and 5 star rating demonstrates a high standard of compliance with legislative requirements, including the Food Standards Code and Food Safety Program. In addition a 5 star rating demonstrates best practice through implementing processes and procedures above and beyond legislative requirements. 

Food businesses that achieve a 5 star rating (excellent including best practice) are rewarded for their achievement through promotion in Council publications and website, promotional booklet and being eligible to receive the annual 'Food Premises of the Year’ award under various categories.  

The Food Business of the Year received a commemorative plaque and a cheque to reward and recognize the achievement of the business.  

Certificates of commendation in recognition of achieving a 5 star rating with a maximum assessment result of 100% during the period of February to October each year are awarded to food businesses. These businesses will also be listed in Council’s monthly community newsletter Whitehorse News and Council’s Business and Development quarterly publication Down to Business

Food Hygiene Publications


List of 5 Star Businesses

The grading of a premises is based on an inspection on the date indicated on the Star Rating Certificate. Grading, unless reviewed during the year, lasts for one year. Whitehorse City Council gives no warranty as to the condition of the premises or the condition or quality of food or standard of operation at any time other than the date of inspection. While the program may be useful as a guide members of the public are urged to use their own judgment in making consumer choice.

Whitehorse City Council expressly disclaims all and any liability (including liability in negligence) to any person or body in respect of the consequences of that person’s actions in consequence of reliance upon the City of Whitehorse Food Hygiene Assessment.