Canberra, the former sheep farm that is now the capital of Australia, has fined a restaurant owner $19,000 after he admitted he had neglected the shop and not cleaned it for about a month.
Alexandra Back of The Canberra Times reports the Hawker business was inspected in May last year when authorities found evidence of food build-up and debris around the food preparation areas.
They also found live and dead cockroaches and uncovered food stored on the floor. The equipment used to transport pie meat was unclean and on one container a plastic bag was being used as a lid.
Prosecutors said the level of uncleanliness was “disturbing”.
The 54-year-old owner, Vinh Quoc Vinh, pleaded guilty to five food safety offences relating to storage, hand washing facilities, maintenance, cleanliness and pests.
The offences happened more than a year ago and the Oriental Hot Bake shop has been compliant since. There was evidence pest controllers had been called to the shop every couple of months.
The ACT Magistrates Court heard the owner usually cleaned the shop once a week. But in what his lawyer described as “exceptional” circumstances the shop had been neglected because a member of his family was very ill.
He had been running the business for 12 years.