Sometimes I wonder what Queensland Health does, other than publish error-filled food safety information.
No follow-up on the 50 people that got sick from shiga-toxin producing E. coli at the state fair last year, no follow-up on the 240 who got sick from Salmonella linked to raw-egg mayo last year, and just no follow up at all.
According to The Courier-Mail, cockroaches in the kitchen, rat droppings in the deep fryer and Salmonella are just a few of the nasties that Brisbane’s food safety inspectors are finding on the menu at some of the city’s most popular restaurants.
Top franchises and well-known restaurants were among the eateries slapped with a whopping total of $600,000 in fines for dodgy hygiene and health practices during the 2013-14 financial year.
The revelations follow the DM jazz cafe being fined $25,000 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this week after a customer found a live cockroach in the chicken and mushroom risotto.
Food safety inspectors slapped more than 30 restaurants and cafes with fines as part of the city council’s EatSafe program in a bid to clean up the industry.
The Beach House was fined $30,000 in December after rat droppings were found in the deep fryer, as well as accumulated grease on the floor and wall surfaces in the kitchen.
The Gap Tavern, owned by the ALH Group, was fined $28,000 for cleanliness issues including having live cockroaches in November 2013.
ALH Group spokesman said the organisation took food safety very seriously and had already taken steps to address the issues raised by the council.
“We have a robust ongoing audit process,” he said.
Major cities and tourist destinations throughout the state are hiding details about restaurants prosecuted for repeated dodgy hygiene practices, which could include insects crawling through the kitchen and food contamination.
There is now pressure on them to follow Brisbane City’s Council’s lead by naming and shaming eateries that flunk inspections and introducing a star rating system for food safety.
Diners on the Gold Coast and in Cairns could be eating at restaurants repeatedly fined for breaching health standards but wouldn’t know because their councils refuse to reveal who they are.
Queensland Health Health Protection Unit boss Sophie Dwyer said food safety rating schemes were a matter for local governments.