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no "doggy bags" (moved from Australia/New Zealand board)

debbieann Jan 5, 2011 02:05 AM

I don't remember encountering this in other countries, but it seems like there is now a law that restaurants can not pack up your leftovers, because "if you get sick, it is their fault". It seems a little bit random where this is true. I'm sad to waste the food, but it is too much to eat. I think we are going to start splitting the main more often. The entrees are often very interesting so it is hard to say no to them.

  1. coll Jan 5, 2011 05:32 AM

    Supposedly there is a law like that here, at least according to restaurants that give you the take out container and say you have to pack it yourself. Since that's only maybe one of of twenty places, I guess it's just their law. Maybe they got sued or written up by the health inspector? But a shame to throw away food, and I might be wondering if the cook could be repurposing certain items too. Why don't you try bringing your own container? I mean, could they really stop you? You paid for it, it's yours.

    1. debbieann Jan 5, 2011 01:50 PM

      why is talking about leftover food "not about food" ?

      1 Reply
      1. re: debbieann
        bagelman01 Jan 5, 2011 02:38 PM

        When you are not talking about the food, but the packing and removal from restaurant premises. Then it's about rules and regulations.

      2. kersizm Jan 5, 2011 09:37 PM

        Yup, there is a law. I am not sure if it is Melbourne City or Victorian.

        4 Replies
        1. re: kersizm
          mr_gimlet Jan 5, 2011 10:05 PM

          Now, I think this is an urban myth. I don't think there is legislation or guidance on this. What I think does happen is that many places don't want you to take away leftovers, and so dress it up in something less confrontational, like 'its the law'. If anything, its their own risk assessments gone over the top.

          I also think places that sell takeaway as well as eat in are more likely to allow it. Plus I can believe anything about Tasmania anyway. However I would add that it is the restaurant's discretion and you may have just run up against a cultural norm.

          1. re: mr_gimlet
            kersizm Jan 6, 2011 01:31 AM

            Wrong I was Mr. G.


            1. re: mr_gimlet
              debbieann Jan 6, 2011 02:30 AM

              yeah, it is inconsistent, and it seems strange to say before ordering, can we take leftovers home, so it is a cultural norm in some restaurants, in this case Smolt in Hobart, but I am not sure how to tell ahead of time which restaurants.

              1. re: debbieann
                mr_gimlet Jan 6, 2011 07:22 PM

                You're north american with a middle aged man with a ponytail. Just play to prejudices.

          2. s
            spicyme Jan 9, 2011 02:54 AM

            There is no law in effect, however food leaving a restaurant will be in the danger zone between 5-60c where bacteria thrive, so if your dinner is in that zone for a considerable period the risk of food poisoning is very high.

            Restaurants are not required to give "doggy bags" and doing so is just an added cost (containers, plastic bags etc).

            Further info at:

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