Pets in bars and cafes

Rachel Young at Stuff reports:

Bar and restaurant owners may soon be able to decide whether dogs are allowed on their premises.

The Food Bill, now before Parliament, would give proprietors the right to choose whether man’s best friend was welcome or not.

The Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 say that “no animal is permitted” on premises where food is prepared or sold.

However, some Christchurch hospitality operators spoken to took a relaxed approach to the rules, welcoming dogs on to their premises as long as they did not cause trouble.

A spokesman for Primary Industries Minister David Carter said the bill, which would replace the regulations and the Food Act 1981, would require operators to take responsibility for food safety in a way that was appropriate for their businesses.

“Obviously they will need to keep unwanted animals out of their restaurants, and especially the kitchens and food-handling areas, but in many cases there will be little risk to food safety if, for example, pet dogs are allowed into outdoor dining areas.”

James Jameson, owner of the St Asaph St Kitchen and Stray Dog Bar, said business owners should make their own decisions.

Absolutely. I was unaware they were banned. I think some bars that get known as pet friendly could do very well commercially.

Good to see the law change to focus on the outcome (hygiene) and not be overly prescriptive on how it is achieved.

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