The Australian resort of the Gold Coast is shielding the city’s four worst restaurants — refusing to release details of businesses prosecuted for dodgy food practices.
Environmental health officers acted against more than 1300 food safety breaches, ranging from simple maintenance issues to serious pest problems among the 3500-plus licensed food businesses across the city last year. Among the most serious, the council took four businesses to court between July 2011 and June 2012, for reasons including bad cleaning and sanitising. The council also issued 75 on-the-spot fines totalling $41,250 for major health breaches.
The most common problems were for food not being stored at the correct temperature and poor hygiene.
But a council spokesman said details surrounding the breaches and the businesses prosecuted could not be released to the public because they “could be seen as being discriminatory”.
This tack has been tried elsewhere and the answer is: bullshit.
The moves are part of a growing horsemeat scandal in Europe.
Down the road in the Gold Coast, Australia, a Perth butcher has confirmed horse meat is being supplied to some restaurants but has refused to reveal exactly who was selling the controversial dish. Owner of Mondo Di Carne butchers, Vince Garreffa, told the Bulletin he had customers on the Coast and did not understand what the fuss was about.
“I don’t understand all the attention this is getting and we will not be making any more statements,” he said.
Mr Garreffa, who is the only butcher in Australia licensed to sell horse meat for human consumption, also refused to name the restaurants he was supplying due to the controversy it often caused.
The dish is rarely advertised by restaurants or published on menus due to fears of a backlash.
Horse has long been eaten in some European and Asian cultures but is met with controversy in Australia and other western countries.
Anyone who proclaims they have a ministry – especially a ministry of food – is suspect.
UK chef-celebrity Jamie Oliver, who practices terrible food safety on his numerous TV shows, is bringing his ‘pukka tucker’ to the Gold Coast with the help of the Queensland government, running weekly cooking classes teaching locals how to prepare healthy, nutritious and tasty meals.
This is a terrible idea.
If Jamie Oliver wants to promote health cooking, good for him; that doesn’t mean that taxpayers of Queensland, like Amy, should support this shill and his terrible food safety, in any way.
Queensland’s chief health officer, Dr Jeanette Young, told the Courier Mail the mobile kitchen would help Gold Coasters make healthier eating choices.
Rules require hand sanitizer to be available for patrons, and restaurant staff are prohibited from touching the pets while working. Any accidents must be promptly cleaned up. This seems entirely sensible, as long as the rules are followed and yahoos kept to a minimum.
Mayor Tom Tate said the council had voted to support proposed changes by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) giving cafe and restaurant owners discretion to allow companion dogs in outdoor dining areas.
"While the decision to adopt amended food standards is ultimately the decision of the State Government, Council voted to make a submission to FSANZ to outline its support for the rights of food business owners to choose whether they wish to allow dogs,” Cr Tate said.