A FOOD hygiene rating system that is gaining popularity in Tasmania and Queensland could be the answer to determining the good from the bad when it comes to deciding on where to dine out.
Called EatSafe and developed by the Brisbane City Council, it operates as restaurants are awarded star ratings that determine how often a council inspection will take place.
Two councils in Queensland and two in Tasmania - Break O'Day and Glamorgan Spring Bay, have now adopted the rating system.
Restaurants that receive a three-star rating receive an annual visit by the council's food safety inspectors, four star receive a visit every second year and five star every third year.
Those ranking two and below are regarded as poor performers.
Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said it had not considered the rating system.
He said the council had an obligation under health legislation to undertake inspections to ensure eateries were complying with standards in hygiene and cleanliness.
Mr Dobrzynski said the EatSafe program merely determined the frequency of inspections.
He said the council operated a similar system, without the public star ratings, and that environmental health staff provided a high degree of confidence to residents and visitors on the quality of establishments.