Although most businesses do the right thing when it comes to food safety, there are still a few culprits that refuse to abide by food safety and food handling laws. One such culprit is a Chinese restaurant in Brisbane, who received their second prosecution in 3 years following an incident involving cockroaches.
Council inspectors paid the restaurant a visit and discovered that the food handling area was infested with cockroaches that also were found crawling on plates. The restaurant was fined $25,000 and an additional $3081.40 for food safety breaches. The restaurants owners pleaded guilty to 16 charges including cleanliness issues, presence of the cockroaches and deteriorating door seals, shelving and fittings. The owners were also slapped with a fine of $5000 for breaching the Food Act.
The bad part about this incident is that this is not the first time the restaurant was found guilty of food safety breaches. In 2009 the same restaurant was fined for committing the same offences, which suggests that the owners are not learning from their mistakes.
SafetyCulture.com posted the following about the incident on their website:
The restaurant was fined for similar offences in 2009.
The director’s daughter represented the restaurant in court and said all of the issues identified during last year’s inspection had been addressed and that they are continuously working to improve their standards.
Magistrate Wendy Cull says the breaches were serious but were not as serious as some that have come before the courts. In sentencing, Magistrate Cull considered the fact that all problems were addressed by the restaurant and they have cooperated with the council.
Brisbane’s food outlets have been a hot topic recently, not because of the outstanding quality of food but rather because of the number of restaurants that are found guilty of food handling and food safety breaches. This does not mean residents of Brisbane need to be alarmed and stop eating out there are 114 food outlets that received fines in the last financial year.
The Eat Safe initiative has a lot to do with this, bringing the standard of food hygiene up by holding businesses accountable for their cleanliness. The good part about the initiative for ordinary residents is that many of the restaurants have chosen to display their hygiene rating at the front of the restaurant so you will be able to tell how clean a restaurant is according to the rating it has been awarded. This is a huge benefit for the health and cleanliness conscious consumer and those who can’t risk getting a food borne illness.
Two stars or no stars reflect that the business has to make improvements to their food safety standards whereas 3 stars indicate that the business is up to standard. Those businesses that received a high star rating chose to display their rating in their window.
These ratings have had a positive outcome as the number of poor hygiene restaurants have dropped between2010-2012 and 30 businesses were prosecuted during this time.