The ACT government has scrapped the idea of a "Scores on Doors" system of food hygiene ratings.
The territory's Chief Health Officer, Paul Kelly, said there were a "range of reasons" behind the decision, but the government had decided there would be "better paths to follow to get the same outcome".
"Just to be clear, the outcome is that we want the people of the ACT or people visiting the ACT to be confident when they go to a restaurant they're eating safe food," he said.
Dr Kelly said alternative measures, such as translating ACT Health materials into different languages, "seem to be bearing fruit".
He also said consultation was continuing with hotels, clubs and the business chamber.
"It's a vibrant and important part of our economy here in the ACT," he said. "We're not sitting on our hands, but it's a different approach."
The Australian Hotels Association ACT welcomed the decision, saying that it was in part thanks to improving food safety in Canberra's restaurants.
"It seems the ACT Government has lost its appetite for 'Scores on Doors' following strong compliance results and food safety improvements by licensed venues and restaurants across Canberra," its general manager Brad Watts said.
He said that while there is no room for complacency on the issue of food safety, there is also no need for "further regulation or red tape to be imposed on the licensed hospitality sector, which is enjoying strong growth".
ClubsACT said it was pleased that the scheme in its current form wouldn't go ahead.
"From what we understood it was going to be yet another mandatory requirement for industry, and from evidence overseas, venues which didn't receive the top score would suffer a reduction in their revenue," chief executive officer Jeff House said.
"Our major concern with the "Scores on Doors" proposal, it was designed to penalise venues that didn't get the top score, even though all those venues were compliant with food safety laws."
There has been a 10 per cent increase in the number of food businesses operating in the ACT over the last two years, and a corresponding increase in the number of improvement orders issued – a requirement to fix food safety breaches within a certain time after an inspection.
In the 2014-15 financial year there were 2929 food businesses registered in the ACT. ACT Health performed 2368 inspections and issued 388 improvement orders and nine prohibition orders.
The year before had 2662 total registered food businesses, while 2171 were inspected and 357 improvement notices were issued. There were eight prohibition orders issued.
Both Labor and the Greens backed the "Scores on Doors" scheme before the 2012 election.
In 2014, a Newspoll of 1000 Canberrans found that 81 per cent backed the scheme at least "somewhat", while only 4 per cent opposed it.
More than one in eight Canberrans said they would dine out more often if a "Scores on Doors" system was introduced, while one in five said they had avoided dining out because they feared the meal would be unsafe.