14K fine; Australian noodle bar fined for ‘putrid’ conditions

A cockroach-infested noodle bar operating in Tuggeranong Hyperdome has been fined almost $14,000 for potentially dangerous food safety breaches.

Health inspectors showed up at the BNL Noodle Bar, owned by Taku and Mars Monkey Pty Ltd, about 2pm in April 2011, just after the lunch rush.

What they found at the eatery had the potential to cause a public health emergency, a BNL.uggeranongcourt heard on Thursday.

Prosecutor Anthony Williamson described the scene as “putrid”, with inspectors finding significant volumes of cockroaches, alive and dead.

They found dirt, grime, food debris, inadequate washing facilities, and the walls and floor had not been cleaned for “a considerable amount of time”.

No action had been taken to control the entry of the pests, the court heard.

The noodle bar was shut down temporarily by the health inspectors, and its parent company, consisting only of one individual, was taken to court for multiple breaches of food safety laws.

The company was sentenced in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday by Magistrate Bernadette Boss.

The company’s lawyer said the owner of the business was struggling financially, having bought the company for $130,000 in 2010, and now finding it difficult to make a profit.

The owner has since taken action to fix the problems, completing a $100,000 renovation, which now made it fully compliant with food safety laws.