Code of Practice launched for outlets serving alcoholic beverages

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Code of Practice launched for outlets serving alcoholic beveragesThe Sense Group (TSG) has launched an updated Code of Practice for outlets that serve alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises. It is a set of guidelines to ensure that alcohol is promoted in a socially responsible manner, and only to those who are over the legal drinking age of 17 years.

This was announced by TSG's Director General Ray Grech during a press conference in the presence of the Minister for Tourism Dr Edward Zammit Lewis. Also present were Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) Chief Executive Andrew Agius Muscat; Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, Business Consultancy Services of General Retailers and Traders Union (GRTU) Philip Fenech; Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) Executive Director Pierre Fenech; and the Maltese Bartenders Guild President Rodney Pisani.

On the new Code of Practice, Ray Grech said, "the ethical guidelines are based on the principle that all members of society need to be socially responsible for the common welfare. Outlets which serve alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises contribute to social well-being by providing venues for socialising, recreation and entertainment."

"Our role is to educate the public and those in the alcoholic drinks industry on the use and misuse of alcohol, while discouraging any form of irresponsible drinking," said Mr Grech.

Set up in 1997, The Sense Group (TSG), which is supported by the alcoholic beverages industry including producers and importers, developed the revised Code of Practice by partnering with other stakeholders that have also formally endorsed it. These include the Maltese Bartenders Guild, GRTU, MHRA, and ITS.

TSG said that alcohol must be consumed responsibly and in moderation. Bar owners, operators and their staff are strongly advised to know the Code of Practice to ensure the safety and well being of their clients during social and entertaining events.

"They should be aware of the current legal units of alcohol acceptable and should not serve alcohol to drivers who would have consumed more than the legal drink-driving limit. Identifying negative behaviour that is related to alcoholism would help at pre-empting issues that may arise as a result of excessive consumption."

The Sense Group's first edition of the Code of Practice was launched in 2000. The 2016 edition, which can be found on: www.drinkawaremalta.com contains additional regulations in line with today's lifestyle and economic changes.

TSG promotes programmes and practices that create a positive role for alcohol in the Maltese society and addresses issues related to alcohol abuse and misuse.

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