Posted by: ahallatt | April 9, 2009

Stupid Leftovers Law

I don’t know whether this is an Australian thing, or just in this state, but I recently encountered a really stupid bit of legislation from the Nanny State. I was eating at one of my favourite places in the city (Cookie – the penang lamb curry is amazing, amazing, amazing) with the talented Paul Gilligan (don’t go back to Canada, Paul, my nightlife will be cut in half!) and friends and we wanted to take away the leftovers. “No,” said the waitress “we don’t have a licence for that.” I would have thought that was some kind of bullshit answer, only Paul had encountered it before and the maitre d’ explained that yes, restaurants need to have a licence to let their patrons take food off the premises! This because of some food poisoning scares in the past. I’m angry that the cheapskates haven’t got this license (probably deliberately, I bet they are delighted not to have to deal with leftovers), but I’m angrier that this great food will be going into landfill.


Recent Sunday cartoon on food waste

Recent Sunday cartoon on food waste

One way of dealing with the problem is to take your own containers, something I’ll be doing if I know I’m going out to eat, though I know this is going to make me look like an eco-freak.



  1. Here in WA, we’ve been refused leftovers before, have been told it’s against the law. But we always ask anyway and about half the time we’ll get our leftovers – not sure if they do licences here or if we just eat at rebellious restaurants!

    • I’m going to try to remember to take a container to just do it myself. Made me wonder – which is the greater eco-crime: sending leftovers to landfill, or using “disposable” plastic containers supplied by the restaurant to take them home…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: