The Best Bites Food Guide provides consumers with an assurance of safety, sustainability and accessibility and businesses with a valuable marketing angle. Best of all, the program is absolutely free! It costs food businesses nothing to take part and gives a whole range of benefits, including enhanced promotion of your business, reduced overheads and an increased customer base.

The Best Bites program is built on the 5 pillars of:

  • Access and Inclusion
  • Healthy Eating
  • Tobacco and Alcohol Compliance
  • Waste Management and Recycling
  • Energy and Water Efficiency

Food businesses that demonstrate excellence in one or more pillars are listed in our Best Bites Food Guide. This is published online and printed annually.

So how does your business get in the Guide?

1. Food premises assessment

Each food business is routinely assessed by a Shire Environmental Health Officer each year. To qualify for consideration in the Best Bites Food Guide, the business must achieve the following:

  • Obtain a score of 95% or above in the annual food premises assessment
  • Safely manage food allergens and provide allergen information to customers on request.

2. Nominate

Businesses can nominate to be included in the Best Bites Food Guide by speaking to their Environmental Health Officer, or by completing a nomination form.

3. Site visit

A Shire Environmental Health Officer visits the business to validate a short list of key criteria across the five pillars. Each area validated will ensure the business is listed under that section of the Best Bites Food Guide. Businesses can be listed in one or more sections – they don’t have to be listed in all five, but the more areas your business is validated in, the more recognition and exposure your business gets!

The Food Guide criteria are:

Access & Inclusion

  • Provide full wheelchair access to all customer areas. Consider portable ramps for front entrances
  • Have customer access to a wheelchair accessible toilet
  • Provide services and facilities for customers with a vision or hearing impairment
  • Train service staff in access and inclusion
  • Have a documented policy that covers access and inclusion

Nutrition & Healthy Eating

  • Use healthy fats/cooking oils, lean meat and reduced fat dairy
  • Base your menu around vegetables and fruit
  • Add flavour without the salt – lemon juice, herbs, spices, chilli, pepper, vinegar
  • Limit soft drinks and add different varieties of healthy drinks
  • Offer wholegrain as standard

Smoke Free Dining & Alcohol Management

  • Provides a totally smoke free environment for patrons – including outdoor dining and service areas
  • Has a Smoke Free Environment Policy
  • Provides staff education on Smoke Free policy
  • Has a Responsible Service of Alcohol Policy
  • Provides staff education on Responsible Service of Alcohol Policy

Recycling & Waste Initiatives

  • Recycle cardboard, paper, steel, glass and plastic
  • Limit the use of disposable containers and packaging
  • Avoid the use of plastic bags
  • Use local suppliers to reduce food miles
  • Support customers to provide reusable containers for products

Energy & Water Efficiency

  • Uses energy efficient heating, cooling, lighting and appliances
  • Has introduced programs to reduce energy and water usage
  • Uses water saving plumbing fixtures and appliances
  • Prevents cleaning waste water from entering local drains and waterways
  • Provides staff education on energy and water efficiency

4. Listing published

The Best Bites Food Guide is online at MPBusiness. Your free MPBusiness listing is tagged with the relevant categories that your business has demonstrated excellence in, so that your business shows under that area.

A printed version of the guide – based on the information in your MPBusiness listing, is published in Spring and distributed to visitor information centres, customer service areas and local businesses. Unfortunately, the 2021 edition was not able to be printed due to Covid-19. The next edition is scheduled to be published in Spring 2022.

The award-winning Best Bites program was launched in 2011 and is the only food business award scheme in Australia that promotes food businesses in the areas of food safety, nutrition, access and sustainability. The food businesses that are in the Best Bites Food Guide are well on their way to being able to nominate for the Best Bites Food Awards.

We developed this program because our local food industry is so important. They provide food for thousands of residents and visitors every day. In fact, the quality and diversity of our food offerings here on the Peninsula is one of our main attractions for visitors.

Find out more about the Best Bites program.

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Find other ways to support local businesses at mpbusiness.com.au/supportlocal