BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Empirical treatment of sore throat with antibiotics has historically been aimed at preventing complications of group A β-haemolytic streptococcus infection. Threats posed by multi-resistant organisms mean that antimicrobial stewardship is important. The aim of this study was to investigate antibiotic prescribing for tonsillopharyngitis in relation to components of the Modified Centor Criteria (MCC) documented in consultation records. METHOD: Analysis of two rural Australian general practices was performed using clinic management software. A keyword search for 'tonsillopharyngitis/tonsillitis/pharyngitis' identified consultations. RESULTS: Antibiotic prescribing was frequent and congruent with existing studies; however, documented evidence of history and examination covering MCC components was associated with lower antibiotic prescribing (77.7% versus 85.5%, P <0.001; odds ratio: 2.4; 95% confidence interval: 1.8, 3.3, P <0.0001). DISCUSSION: We believe this is the first study that assesses the correlation between documentation and prescribing. Adopting and documenting MCC may improve appropriate prescription and patient safety and significantly reduce antibiotic prescription rates.