Victorian eateries (the Australian ones) with poor hygiene have been named, shamed, fined $450K

Dozens of restaurants, cafes and other eateries in Victoria have copped about $450,000 in fines for breaches of food safety rules.

rest.inspection.victoria.jan.15Most of the culprits were Asian food venues, which were prosecuted for offences ranging from failure to protect food from contamination by pests to knowingly handling food in an unhealthy manner.

Offenders caught by council health inspectors are “named and shamed” on a state Health Department website for a year.

About 30 businesses are listed for convictions recorded over the past 18 months.

Former Southbank restaurant Olla Messa was fined $90,000 in April last year for poor storage of food and failing to keep out pests.

A court was told the City of Melbourne temporarily shut down the eatery after two patrons complained of an infestation of cockroaches.

An inspection of the restaurant found an unsealed grease trap and live and dead cockroaches “throughout the premises.”

UK’s FSA was supposed to be independent; agrees to name stores that sell chicken contaminated with campy

The food safety watchdog is to name and shame supermarkets that sell chicken contaminated with a dangerous food-poisoning bug after the scandal was exposed by the Daily Mail.

borat.chickenThe UK Food Standards Agency has been testing chicken sold in the high street for campylobacter, which is associated with 100 deaths a year and 280,000 food-poisoning cases.

In August, officials said the names of shops involved should be kept secret until at least next summer following lobbying from stores, producers and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs over fears the news would damage the industry.

But following pressure from the Mail, academics and consumer groups, it has agreed to identify them.

The results will reveal which of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, the Co-op, Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer has the highest contamination levels.

The FSA began quarterly surveys of chicken sold on the high street in February to establish the levels of campylobacter. The first revealed that 59 per cent of 853 birds tested positive for the bug.

Some 16 per cent of the roasting birds tested positive for the highest level of contamination.

roast.chicken.june.10One in 20 sealed packs of chicken were even contaminated on the outside, suggesting that simply picking them up created a risk.

The FSA said it would be unfair to name the stores because its sample sizes were small and the public would not understand the results.

This from the same agency that thinks the public is too stupid to use a meat thermometer, so goes with piping hot.

Erik Millstone, professor of science policy at the University of Sussex, said: ‘The FSA was supposed to be independent of commercial and political pressures. Recent events show that in practice the FSA was blown off course by industrial and political pressures.’

Open letter to the FSA on the publication of Campylobacter survey results

Richard Lloyd of Which? a UK consumer organization, writes to the UK Food Standards Agency to say:

chicken.thermI am writing to express our grave concern about the proposal being put to the FSA Board to withhold information about the levels of the deadly food poisoning bacteria Campylobacter in supermarket chickens. Campylobacter is a major public health issue. 72,000 people were reported to have suffered Campylobacter food poisoning last year and it kills an estimated 100 people every year.

As you know, the main source for the bacteria is in raw chicken which is why the FSA decided to undertake testing across supermarkets, butchers and convenience stores and publish the results on a quarterly basis with information by retailer and processor.

The publication of the performance of each retailer is in the public interest. The FSA should not sit on this survey data which it initially intended to publish in full.

The FSA was set up because of concerns about commercial and political interference in decisions about food safety. It is with great regret that it has become necessary to remind you of your role to put consumers first, be independent and operate transparently.

At your board meeting today, I urge you to reject the proposal to withhold this information and instead to publish the results in full on a quarterly basis in order to provide consumers with this important information and help to drive up standards.

‘Name-and-shame is a good thing because it gives the public vital information’ South Australia frustrated by legal process

A filthy, cockroach-infested St Peters restaurant fined more than $100,000 has not been added to the State Government’s name-and-shame register, despite being convicted almost two months ago.

On February 12, Imperial Peking admitted to 31 counts of breaching the state’s food safety code, after cockroaches were found on benches, walls, floors and cooking equipment.

The Eastern Health Authority (EHA) – which prosecuted the restaurant – said it should not have to jump through hoops to get convicted businesses Imperial Pekingadded to the register.

EHA chief executive Michael Livori said it the process to get convicted businesses on the register was long-winded and bureaucratic, including having to wait for the sentencing magistrate to publish remarks.

“It should be automatic or the process could be streamlined,” Mr Livori said.

“We shouldn’t have to fill in numerous forms and have to provide A, B and C to get a company on the register.

“Do I think the Department of Health could look to improve the time frame? I would answer, ‘yes’.”

An SA Health spokeswoman said it could not add premises to the register until the legal process had been completed, including waiting for the 28-day appeal window to lapse.

7 million hits on Australian state Name & Shame register

The New South Wales Food Authority has announced the popular Name and Shame register which publicly names businesses that fail to meet food safety standards has received more than 7 million hits online.

“This sends a clear message to food businesses that consumers expect high standards and are scanning the list of restaurants and other food outlets name.shame.restbefore deciding where to dine out,” said Katrina Hodgkinson NSW Minister for Primary Industries.

“A penalty notice on the register not only acts as a potential deterrent to would be diners it also serves as a deterrent to food businesses against making food safety breaches.”

There were almost 1.25 million views on the Name and Shame register in 2012 alone and more than 7.1 million since the register was established in 2008.

The most common food safety breaches under the Food Act 2003 are;

Cleaning and sanitation (35%)

Temperature control (13%)

Pest control – infestations, droppings (13%)

Hand washing offences (13%)

Protection from contamination – storage, personal hygiene (11%)

“The number of food businesses appearing on the register has almost halved in 3 years which shows the campaign is having the desired effect with more food outlets adhering to the rules,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

To view the Name and Shame register visit:

Rodents, roaches and rubbish in Sydney restaurants

Rodent droppings, cockroaches and a build-up of rubbish has led four central Sydney (that’s in Australia) restaurants to be prosecuted, fined, and named and shamed on a government register designed to prompt businesses to clean up their act.

The New South Wales Food Authority publishes lists of food outlets that have breached or are alleged to have breached state food safety laws.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan said in a statement some of the offences included "unpalatable acts" such as food, waste and grease build-up, and the failure to eradicate and prevent pests.

In some cases, live cockroaches, rodent droppings, smears and hairs were observed throughout the premises.