Canberra Centre cafe owner convicted over salmonella in salads

The owner of a Canberra Centre food court cafe has been convicted after health inspectors found salads contaminated with salmonella for sale in 2010.

Anna Ciardullo, the owner of the Nutmeg Cafe in the shopping centre food court, pleaded guilty to one charge of selling unsafe food likely to cause harm.

The ACT Magistrates Court heard health inspectors went to the cafe in October two years ago and took swab samples from food on display, including a tandoori chicken salad, a chicken pesto salad and a Greek salad. Tests later revealed two salads – the chicken pesto and the Greek salad – were contaminated by salmonella bacteria.

The cafe was given an improvement notice which was lifted three days later on October 25. Ciardullo and her husband, Vincent, faced multiple charges for breaching food safety regulations but prosecutors later dropped all charges against Mr Ciardullo and all but one of the charges against Anna Ciardullo.

The court heard that in the intervening two years there had been no suggestion of further food safety breaches. The Nicholls woman gave evidence that her husband had drawn up a comprehensive plan to prevent food contamination.
She said staff now had inst

The court heard Ciardullo came to Australia in the 1990s as a 22-year-old from Italy who spoke no English and had worked for the past 13 years in the food and beverage industry.