Australian bakery fined $166,000 for unsafe food

The former owner of a western-suburbs bakery in Adelaide has been fined more than $160,000 over rodent droppings, dead and live insects, and mouldy pastry at the premises.

fly.breadChampion Bakery and its owner, Michael John Nickols, were today fined $166,000 in the Adelaide Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to multiple breaches of the food act over the unsafe preparation and sale of the food from the Beverley store.

The court heard Nickols had sold his product to delicatessens, service stations and convenient stores throughout South Australia despite having a prohibition order placed upon his business.

The breaches were detected and photographed by Charles Sturt Council food compliance officers during inspections in September 2013 and February 2014.

Lawyers for Nickols today asked the court to be lenient on their client, who kept operating his bakery in filthy conditions despite the order, because he believed he had to work to live and had declined government-funded disability benefits he was entitled to.

In sentencing, Magistrate Bob Harrap said Nickols offending could have made unsuspecting customers very ill.

The court had earlier heard Nickols had been in the food business as a chef and supplier for more than 40 years before the offending.

He also apologised for obstructing a council food compliance officer from inspecting the business by locking a door of a room he was trying to enter in February last year.