A new Code of Practice for outlets serving alcoholic beverages was launched amid calls for a more inclusive social responsibility to promote common welfare.
The new code replaces the one introduced 15 years ago and is the result of collaboration between The Sense Group, the Institute for Tourism Studies
(ITS), the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA), the GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs and the Malta Bartenders Guild (MBG).
The new code introduced for the first time concerns the element of binge-drinking and lays out guidelines on how to deal with people who would have exceeded legal drink limits.
Outlets which serve alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises contribute to social well-being by providing venues for socialising and entertainment. It is for this reason that outlets serving alcoholic beverages acknowledge their social responsibility through these ethical guidelines.
These outlets must:
- Only promote legal consumption of alcohol;
- Not serve alcoholic beverages to any person below the legal drinking age. If a bartender or serving staff is in doubt as to the age of the purchaser, proof of age should be requested and ascertained;
- Not serve alcoholic beverages to known alcoholics. Serving staff should make an effort to identify negative behaviour that is related to alcoholism and aim at preempting issues that may arise as a result of excessive consumption of alcohol;
- Not serve alcohol to anyone who has clearly exceeded the legal drink driving limit and is identified to have the intention to drive afterwards. In such cases they shall offer alternative non-alcoholic beverages and advise clients to either seek passage home with someone who is within the legal limits or, either takes public transport or a taxi. Bartenders should take the initiative in such instances and offer to make the necessary arrangements themselves;
- Manage intoxicated, antisocial or disruptive clients with safe removal from the premises. It is very important that all members of staff immediately inform management or supervisor on duty, to take control and address any problematic client/s, as this can easily turn into a bad situation if not handled properly;
- Be responsible for the safety of their clients, when trying out new trend of recipes, or creating new recipes making sure that they are aware of any ingredients and allergic reactions that may cause to their clients;
During the launch Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that the European Union had been had been discussing issues relating to the consumption of alcohol for a number of years.
“The EU has actively worked with a number of institutions and industry representatives in order to increase awareness and introduce best practices towards establishing a responsible and updated policy regarding the consumption of alcohol.