Brisbane City Council has defended its food safety credentials following criticism over its handling of breaches by the Normanby Hotel.
Today the council marked five years of its EatSafe program which has overseen food safety standards in Brisbane, bringing 1100 businesses to reach a five star safety rating as well as handing out 1782 fines for offending businesses.
This week the council came under fire after it was revealed it took seven inspections of the popular pub before a cockroach infestation was resolved.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the council had followed regular protocol.
“It’s not a case of going wrong,” Cr Quirk said.
“What we’ve done is ensure that we do follow up inspections and we work with licencees.
“Of course you can’t get into the court with a day’s notice.
“You have to make sure that you have the evidence when you go to court, we don’t want to go to court and lose.”
The Normanby Hotel, which was fined $30,000, is among 131 businesses prosecuted for food safety breaches.
Cr Quirk said it had conducted 33,000 surprise audits since 2010, with businesses measured against the 44 criteria of the EatSafe program.
Auditors look at compliance in cleanliness, food storage and handling and pest control with many following complaints from customers.
“Last year over 700 outlets received 0-2 star ratings and council worked with them through education and online training, to bring their business up to compliance standards (3 star rating),” he said.
Quick stats for 2015
– The council cancelled 15 food licences
– It issue 64 immediate suspensions to businesses in breach of food safety standards
– It issued 440 fines to businesses and pursued 28 successful prosecutions of Food Act 2006 breaches
– It raked in fines worth $622,500
Nice cash cow. But did it make food safer? Did fewer people barf?
And Lord Mayor is a ridiculous title.