Brisbane restaurant inspection: Still voluntary disclosure, still BS

Brisbane City Council has defended its food safety credentials following criticism over its handling of breaches by the Normanby Hotel.

lord.mayorBrisbane sucks at food safety, I know, I live here.

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.


Cockroach found in ‘wild mushroom’ sauce at popular Brisbane pub

A shocked diner at a trendy inner Brisbane pub found a cockroach in his gourmet “wild mushroom” sauce, a court has heard.

cockroacThe historic Normanby Hotel in Red Hill has been slapped with 17 counts of breaching food safety laws after it allegedly sold the meal with mushroom sauce on September 14 2014.

According to a complaint lodged in the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court, in the days following the sauce incident Brisbane City Council inspectors found 17 breaches of the Food Standards Code during five raids of the “infested” hotel kitchen.

In the first raid on September 17, inspectors allegedly found live cockroaches in various areas including crawling over the splashback of the food preparation bench, dead cockroaches and cockroach faeces, as well as a build up of grime and grease.

“There was evidence of an active infestation of cockroaches on the premises,” the complaint states.

“There was a live cockroach in direct contact with the paper towels under the plate-up bench.”

Further raids on September 18, 19, 22 24 and 30 allegedly found the hotel owners had “failed to take steps to eradicate” the cockroaches.

On September 22 they found “a cockroach on a clean plate” on a shelf, on the ceiling and in the door jamb.

The Normanby Hotel at Red Hill is a popular spot, particularly on Sundays.

The case is in its early stages. No defence has been filed by the hotel owner Revestar Pty Ltd.

The case returns to court on August 28.