RESTAURANTS around the country are expected to be of international standard by the time the Food Safety Unit completes its enforcement exercise.
Unit senior health officer Samuela Bolalailai made the comment last week during a two-day workshop for restaurateurs and restaurant graders of the Health Ministry.
Part of the training included spot checks at three restaurants in Suva where graders found poor service and unhygienic conditions.
"We are trying to improve our standards and make it compatible with what is offered in Australia and New Zealand, so that when we sit in a cafeé in Fiji, we feel and know it is no different from what is offered in the United States, in those countries.
"We're benchmarking our work," Mr Bolalailai said.
Graders also found restaurants operating without a business licence and a health licence. "No food establishment should operate without a business licence. Without a health licence, there is no business licence.
"And restaurant owners found in such situation open themselves to legal action where police can step in and take them to court for operating without a licence," he said.
Mr Bolalailai said restaurant grading was approved by Cabinet with an amendment to fees expected from the Solicitor General's office.
"Some restaurants will be out. They will be graded from A to D. If restaurants are graded with D rating, they have no choice but to close down and improve their line of operation before they can resume business," he said.
The Food Safety Unit has 160 enforcement officers stationed around the country.