Brisbane Chinese restaurant fined after customer finds piece of metal scourer in fried rice

A Brisbane Chinese restaurant that served fried rice containing a piece of a metal scourer that lodged in the throat of a female customer has been fined $23,000.

Bamboo Basket restaurant at Portside, in HamiltonBamboo Basket restaurant at Portside, in Hamilton, also was twice found to have live cockroaches by Brisbane City Council officers last year.

Maxine Dosen coughed up the piece of metal from the scourer and was rushed to a hospital emergency to check that she had not swallowed more.

Brisbane magistrate Judith Daley said while it was not known how the piece of metal got into the food, a chef was in the habit of using the scourer to clean a wok during cooking.

Ms Daley said there would have been a real risk that part of the scourer could fall off.

She said after the incident the chef continued to use the metal scourer, despite staff being told not to do so.

 “It all happened so quickly,’’ Ms Dosen told The Courier-Mail last year.

 “I put this fried rice in my mouth and suddenly felt something sharp, like a prawn shell, go down my throat.“I tried to bring it back up my throat and pulled this long, curly thing out of my mouth.’’

Felix Ip, a director of family-owned business Lafeco, which owns Bamboo Basket, pleaded guilty to five Brisbane City Council charges.

Apart from a charge of selling unsafe food, there also were charges relating to grime, failing to take precautions to prevent pests and having live cockroaches in the restaurant.