Maybe it was the customers’ fault

Calgary, which has a long history of blaming consumers for foodborne illness, decided to flex some muscle and actually penalize a couple of shady restaurateurs.

A Pizza Hut restaurant that remained open after being told to close to correct deficiencies under the Public Health Act has been fined $11,500.

Provincial court Assistant Chief Judge Bob Wilkins said in sentencing Alberta Restaurants Inc., which operated the Pizza Hut location in the northeast community of Coventry Hills, the numerous violations over a one-year period were overshadowed by failing to obey the inspector’s order.

"The most aggravating is the blatant disregard for the closure order. Although corrected quickly, the reality is they thumbed their noses and went ahead in face of the closure order."

Additionally, the husband and wife owners of a southeast meat market were fined $20,700 for breaching numerous orders under the Public Health Act relating to unsafe food and filthy conditions.

Judge Wilkins was quoted as saying,

"There was repeated contravention of the act, with 34 inspections in which opportunity was given to rectify the problems. They virtually ignored them. What was done here was strictly for economic gain."

Offences included meat scraps being left uncovered, meat and chicken waste left in a back of the property, open product lying on the floor in a walk-in freezer, mice droppings lying around and magpies carrying away meat left outside.