Currently living in New Zealand, and having the opportunity to travel around it, I’ve seen my fair share of restaurant inspection grades. Like many other developed countries, letter grades displayed at a food business are popular here, and are meant to relay food safety information to consumers.
In the Auckland region, where many districts have a grading system operating, some districts require a food business to display a low grade for a period of time after they’ve been closed due to risk to public health.
The owner of a west Auckland restaurant forced to close in May because of an infestation of mice has been found guilty and fined.
Waitakere City Council staff carried out a routine inspection of Hobsonville’s Sanjang restaurant earlier this year and were shocked to discover a serious rodent problem among dirty, unhygienic conditions.
Council contract solicitor David Collins, said,
"The officer determined there was a risk of food contamination and required the premises to close.”
"The owner contracted a registered pest control firm who treated the property the same day… The premises were allowed to reopen with an E grading the following day after re-inspection."
Council environmental compliance spokesman Alan Ahmu says the restaurant was only allowed to reopen after it was thoroughly cleaned and had to display an E grade for the next two months.
Mr Ahmu says Sanjang has just passed a reinspection and is now B grade.
I’m still waiting to meet Bret, Jemaine or Rhys from the popular New Zealand show Flight of the Conchords, pictured right.