Restaurants – taking home leftover food (doggy bags)Are doggy bags allowed?The term ‘doggy bag’ was originally used to describe food left uneaten at a restaurant which was taken home for the family pet. There is no law prohibiting a
restaurant from providing containers to take leftover food home, although some, such as buffet-style restaurants, may have their own policies about taking food off the premises.
- It is entirely up to each restaurant to consider providing container for this purpose.A restaurant cannot refuse a customer’s
request to take leftover food citing health
or food safety laws. Food activities within
Western Australia are governed by the
Food Act 2008 and the Food Regulations
2009. This legislation does not prevent
food businesses from providing customers
with leftover food in the form of doggy
Restaurants are not, however, obliged to
supply containers for customers to take
food home. For this reason, customers
may supply their own container. In any
case, it is the customer’s responsibility to
store and handle the food safely once it is
taken off the premises to minimise any risk
of food poisoning.
What are the risks?
The primary risk associated with providing
food leftovers in this way is the lack of
temperature control. The temperature
of food greatly affects the growth of
dangerous bacteria linked to food
poisoning. Further reading…
Leftover food at restaurants is commonly taken away while in the danger zone, and eaten several hours or even days after the
food was prepared.To reduce the risk of food poisoning, food should be refrigerated as soon as possible after leaving the restaurant and reheated until steaming hot when consumed. This will limit the time food is in the temperature danger zone.
Safe handling of food Guidelines for restaurants and food outlets:. Determine a policy for providing leftover food to consumers.
Have a set procedure for dealing with customer requests to take leftover food
home. Properly instruct your staff on your policy and procedure and remind them
that health legislation issues are not to be used as an explanation for not providing doggy bags.
• Transfer food into a new, unused food grade container, or a container supplied by the customer.
• Write the date and time of food preparation on the container.Many restaurant customers choose to take home leftover food for a family member or themselves to eat, however there are potential food safety risks involved in doing this.
- Source: http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerProtection/PDF/Publications/Taking_home_leftovers_restaurants.pdf