A Melbourne restaurant has been fined $20,000 after an inspector found its kitchen infested with cockroaches, rodent droppings and accumulated grease, dirt and food waste.
A director of Ten Ren’s Tea Station agreed to temporarily shut its upstairs kitchen on March 7 this year – after a complaint from a customer – when authorities feared for public health.
Senior magistrate Dan Muling yesterday said there was no justification or excuse for the conditions and told its directors they ”wouldn’t have your own kitchen looking like this”.
Prosecutor Sebastian Reid said the initial inspection revealed the kitchen to have ”heavy infestation” of cockroaches, some rodent activity and no method to sanitise food contact surfaces and utensils.
Mr Reid listed more than 30 examples of Food Act breaches to walls, the floor, bowls, fridges and freezers, shelves, door seals, handles, exhaust hood and microwave oven.
These included a high number of live and nesting cockroaches, rodent droppings and heavy accumulation of grease, dirt, food waste and rubbish on the floor, under fridges, cooking equipment and kitchen benches.
Defence barrister Tim Bourke said the directors started the restaurant in 2008 and had employed unreliable students and migrants.