Cockroach toppings land pizza shop in court

Blaming the staff is never a good strategy.

But that’s exactly what the operator of a Domino’s pizza joint in Canberra, Australia, did while pleading guilty to four breaches of ACT food safety laws after cockroaches were repeatedly found on takeaway pizzas and pasta.

In an interview with authorities, the operator admitted the restaurant battled a cockroach problem for six months. He also accused staff of failing to follow the store’s cleaning regime and of falsifying completed cleaning records.

The prosecution has said three unrelated customers, on three separate occasions, raised the issue with ACT Health in April and May last year.

Documents tendered before Magistrate Grant Lalor yesterday revealed the restaurant was inspected three times in May after the customers complained of vermin in their food.

Authorities were first alerted to the infestation when a customer photographed a slice of barbecue chicken pizza containing a cockroach; another separate but similar complaint was made the next day.

The following month a public health officer inspected the Cape Street restaurant.

A statement of facts said the officer "found the premises to have a large number of non-compliant issues" and ordered pest control treatment take place within a week.

I make my own pizza.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time