Restaurants told to wash hands or be named-and-shamed

Katrina Hodgkinson, the Minister for Primary Industries in New South Wales (the Australian state that includes Sydney), told the Cowra Community News that NSW food businesses to clean up their act.

“Hand-washing is at the very foundation of correct and safe food handling. Over the past 12 months, there have been about 170 offences related to hand-washing listed on the Name and Shame register.

“Whether you’re at home cooking for your family, in the kitchen of the local café, a chef in a high end commercial kitchen or at a fast food chain preparing food for thousands – the key to keeping a safe and hygienic kitchen is washing your hands.

“Each penalty notice carries a fine of $880 for a corporation and $440 for an individual as well as the unenviable honour of being placed on the Name and Shame list where consumers can easily see the breaches of their local food outlets.

“Consumers vote with their feet, so begin by washing your hands to ensure you don’t lose business or worse – make your customers sick.”

The full list of penalty notices and prosecutions can be found at

Dubai rules out naming restaurants failing safety inspections

In its quest for food safety excellence, Dubai has decided to keep restaurants that fail safety inspections a secret.

This is backwards. reports that in May, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) said it will announce the names of restaurants and food outlets facing closure due to poor hygienic conditions.

However, the Dubai municipality believes taking corrective and preventive actions is more important than naming and shaming defiant eateries, director of the Food Control Department at the municipality, Khalid Mohammed Sherif Al Awadhi, said.

Variations of name and shame has proven a strong incentive in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York City and Sydney (New South Wales). Dubai isn’t there.

Restaurants challenge ‘name and shame’ in Sydney

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a Sydney restaurant is considering legal action against the NSW Food Authority over its controversial name-and-shame website.

Satasia opened in Balmain 28 years ago and has become one of the most popular restaurants in Sydney’s inner west.

The owner, Andrew Lum, says that reputation is in tatters after his eatery was fined by the Food Authority, then included on its name-and-shame list alongside rat- and cockroach-infested restaurants.

The database was launched in July to try to improve hygiene standards.

But Mr Lum and other restaurateurs argue its format is unfair.

Several businesses, including Satasia, have consulted lawyers about suing the State Government.

But the Food Authority appears to be immune from legal action, including defamation, under section 133G of the 2003 Food Act, which states: "No liability is incurred by the state, the minister or the Food Authority, for publishing in good faith any information contained on a register."

A University of Sydney senior law lecturer, David Rolph, said,

"The Food Authority clearly takes the view that when you balance it out between the rights of the trader and the right of the public not to consume food prepared in unsafe places, public interest has to prevail."

Lavender Blue Cafe, at McMahons Point, joined the list in November after receiving a fine for a broken probe thermometer. The manager, Andrew Menczel, said: "The list is a good idea in principle but to lump everyone together is wrong. There should be clearer categories for different offences.”

Live crabs in loo highlight Sydney’s name and shame

A fish market that stored crabs in a toilet cubicle is amongst the newest addition to the NSW Government’s name and shame list, available at

Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said Jemes Fish Market on Liverpool Road, Ashfield, in the city’s inner west, was hit with two fines of $660 for storing live crabs in a toilet cubicle.

"This is one of the most outrageous cases of food storage I have ever heard about. It is unhygienic and is just not fair on consumers who pay good money for their food."

Among the other 45 additions to the website this week is Jesters at Forestville in Sydney’s north, fined $1980 for having containers of raw foods encrusted with food waste and cockroach activity, and Choy Restaurant in Belmore Road, Randwick, in Sydney’s east, which was been slapped with three fines worth $1980 for having a dead rodent in the storage area, as well as vermin activity and unclean premises.

Cockroach sandwich? Calls to name and shame dirty school canteens

The Australians are really getting into restaurant inspection disclosure — via the name and shame route.

Sydneysiders are now saying school canteens should be held to the same standards. reports that,

Gastro outbreaks, cockroaches in sandwiches and mice droppings in pie ovens are among a number of complaints that have seen 38 Sydney schools targeted by the food safety authority since 2004.

Shadow Education Minister Andrew Stoner said,

“We don’t allow other businesses – takeaways and restaurants – to get away with this. We can’t allow school canteens to do it. … name and shame the schools where canteens are not up to scratch.”

Go for it.