‘Underground BBQ’ business Big Don’s Smoked Meats hit with $30,000 fines

Keeping with the Australia Day theme, David Johns of Perth Now reports that a Perth business that claims to run “clandestine and illicit” barbecues has been slapped with almost $30,000 in fines for breaching food regulations.

Big Don’s Smoked Meats was hit with the fine after the Town of Victoria Park received a smoke complaint from owner Donovan MacDonald’s St James property in August 2018.

The business was hosting one of its ‘underground barbecue’ events in the backyard of Mr MacDonald’s house.

Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta said the Town’s environmental health officers discovered Mr MacDonald was advertising cooked meats for sale and catering services — but had not registered his business properly.

The officers also discovered that those preparing the food in Mr MacDonald’s backyard did not have access to appropriate hand washing facilities.

Under the Food Act 2008 (WA), food businesses are not allowed to host events unless they are registered and have approval from the local council.

A representative of Big Don’s Smoked Meats told PerthNow via Facebook that the council’s actions were “ridiculous and very heavy handed” but declined to comment further or be interviewed on the matter.

Mr Vuleta said the Town of Victoria Park took food safety very seriously, and that “several attempts to contact Mr MacDonald before taking action were ignored”.

“He is still advertising his services while remaining unregistered,” he said

Who’s to blame? Australian restaurant fined $13,000 after health inspectors find “pet meat” being processed in kitchen

Akshay Pai of Meaww writes that an Indian restaurant in Perth, Australia, has been fined $13,000 by health inspectors after they found ‘pet meat’ in its kitchen premises.

The Department of Health published a notice online, stating that Kopikaran Krishnasamy and Kalaiamutham Pty Ltd, trading as Cafe Marica was guilty of breaching food regulations this past February.

According to the Daily Mail, when the City of Gosnells food safety inspectors visited the restaurant, located in Perth’s southern suburb of Canning Vale, they found 15 kilos of mutton marked ‘Pet Meat – Not Fit For Human Consumption’ opened and being processed in the kitchen.

Cafe Marica was handed down a hefty fine for failing to comply with food safety regulations —  $12,000 for court costs and an additional $1382.30 in costs for failing to prevent pet meat being handled in premises where food was sold. However, it is unclear whether any of the pet meat was served to a customer in the restaurant. Speaking about the case, City of Gosnells chief executive officer Ian Cowie said, “The breach related to the fact that pet meat was found at premises where food was prepared and sold for human consumption. Some of the meat was being processed by Mr. Krishnasamy, however, the City had no evidence that the pet meat was for consumption by customers.”

In a statement, owner Krishnasamy defended his restaurant and insisted that the mix-up was because of a new supplier. “We believe our mistake was trusting our supplier blindly and going ahead with the purchase back in February 2018,” he wrote on Facebook. “Since then, we have immediately discontinued purchases from the supplier and stepped up our hygiene practices.”

Filthy food habits cost Perth Woolworths $100,000

I prefer to shop at Coles, but there is a few things I get from Woolies, especially since it’s on the way to and from school. She has a preference for tiger bread (I know it’s just white bread with stripes, but it’s on her way to swimming which is a decent bike ride, followed by an hour of laps, so for an 8-year-old, I’m not concerned about the empty calories.

woolworths-crusty-tiger-breadEmma Young of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Woolworths at Madeley’s Kingsway City must cough up $100,000-plus after numerous public health offences.

The conviction will result in a fine of $95,000 and costs of $7000 to Woolworths, which the City of Wanneroo began inspecting in October 2015 after a member of the public complained about their Woolworths brand Crusty Tiger Loaf, which was found to be ‘unsuitable for sale.’

“The inspection found that Woolworths were not in compliance with a number of food standard codes,” planning and sustainability director Mark Dickson said.

Woolworths was found to have failed to ensure its food handlers were skilled in food safety and food hygiene. It also failed to store food to protect it from contamination, failed to keep the store and its equipment clean and failed to “process only safe and suitable food”. 

Evidence of pests was also found.

Woolworths pleaded guilty to all charges.

“The City’s follow-up inspections found that the issues were rectified,” Mr Dickson said.

No more tiger bread.

Pinto defense: We meet all standards, after 1 dead and six sickened at Perth childcare

In the Aussie form of see, hear and speak no evil, evidence has emerged that a child has died following an outbreak of gastro at a lower North Shore (Perth) childcare centre.

see-no-evilSix children at Little Zak’s Academy in Artarmon — aged between 11 months and four years — developed high fevers and vomiting over the past week caused by rotavirus gastroenteritis, health authorities have confirmed.

But a seventh child died, with the causes so far unknown, although the death is not being directly attributed to the outbreak.

Northern Sydney Public Health Unit director Dr Michael Staff said four of the sick children had to be admitted to hospital.

“Tragically, another child who also attends the centre died in hospital on October 23, but at this stage it appears unrelated to the gastroenteritis outbreak,” he said.

He said they were working with specialist paediatricians to understand the cause of the child’s death.

Parents were tonight in shock over the news of the death.

pintoexplodingAn email from the local health district informing them of what had happened was only sent through this afternoon.

Michael Kendall, father to five-year-old Charlotte, said that he was “furious” and would not be bringing his child back to the child care centre.

He said the centre should have been shut down during the outbreak — and that he only just found out about what had happened.

“It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard in my life, I only found about it 15 minutes ago, I just heard that a child has died.

“If I knew my child wouldn’t have been here.

“I used to run a big centre down at the snow and our first priority was to take care of people especially kids, once you have an outbreak you’re supposed to tell the parents and shut the premises down.”

A spokesman for the centre said Public Health Unit advice was that “the outbreak appears to be under control and it is safe for children to continue to attend the Centre.”

Little Zak’s said in a statement, “Please be assured our Artarmon Centre is fully accredited and compliant with all health and regulatory requirements, and we endeavour at all times to operate to the highest standards of care and hygiene. As confirmed by the Northern Sydney Local Health District, we will continue to work closely with its Public Health Unit to ensure these high standards are maintained.”

Pinto defense.

 

Food fraud: Perth company uncovers where food really comes from

John Flint of PerthNow reports Indonesian prawns sold to consumers in Australia contained trace elements of cooling water from a nuclear power plant, forensic tests uncovered.

tsw.2Dr John Watling, chief scientist with TSW Analytical, was surprised by the discovery, but believes food fraud is commonplace.

Dr Watling, formerly Winthrop Professor of Forensic and Analytical Chemistry at the University of WA, estimates that one-third of what we put in our shopping trolleys isn’t what it claims to be.

“With the Indonesian prawns, some exhibited the elemental signature of having been grown in the cooling water from a nuclear power station,” Dr Watling told The Sunday Times this week. “As there isn’t a nuclear power station in Indonesia they obviously didn’t come from Indonesia.

“The prawns were not toxic — we’re not talking about prawns that glow in the dark. But their elemental fingerprint indicated that they were not grown where the label said they were.”

Food fraud is so lucrative that organised crime syndicates are now involved, TSW Analytical’s chief executive Cameron Scadding says.

Mr Scadding, also a forensic chemist, said the explosion in demand for healthy and ethically produced foods is also being exploited.

The booming industry around expensive organic produce is expected to exceed $US100 billion this year. It’s hardly a surprise then, Mr Scadding said, to see cheaply produced foods passed off as organic.

“Given the premium and the demand for this sort of food it is very open to economically motivated substitution as, after all, the organic carrot looks the same as the cheaper non-organic one,” he said.

It’s not just what we eat, but what we love to drink. Australian wines, for example, are ripe for rorting.

“There are some wines that haven’t even seen a vineyard. They’re just fabricated wines,” Dr. Watling said.

Dr Watling and Mr Scadding, who co-founded TSW Analytical 10 years ago, recently launched Source Certain International with Colorado-based Glenn McClelland, to lead the fightback against food fraud globally. From their WA base in Bibra Lake, they’ve established offices in Singapore and the US.

They use their technology, TSW Trace, to determine a unique trace elemental fingerprint from food samples to determine their origin.

tswDeveloped by Dr Watling over 30 years, it can pinpoint where in the world the ingredients come from.

The same technology has even been used, outside of food, to identify gold fraud. In 2010, WA Police hailed it as crucial in thwarting an international gold heist and credited Dr Watling with pioneering gold fingerprinting.

At the time, Dr Watling told The Sunday Times his technology had saved the global gold industry about $1 billion.

The food industry has even more to lose. Food scandals, such as the frozen berries hepatitis A scare last year, can decimate a business and destroy trust in an entire industry.

The fallout from the hepatitis A outbreak — involving 34 Australians, including two in WA — was felt by businesses in the frozen berries market, as shoppers stopped buying them.

12 sickened: Australian grandmother almost died after contracting Salmonella on cruise

A Perth grandmother has been struck down by a number of illnesses after she was infected with Salmonella while a passenger on an Australian cruise ship.

Sally Faulkin, 90, has spent one month in hospital after she, along with 12 others, came down with Salmonella poisoning on a Cruise and Maritime Voyages ship last month.

Ms Faulkin became so sick she could no longer walk, and her family called a priest, fearing she would need to have her last rites read.

Ms Faulkin’s family said they had made five phone calls and sent nine emails to the cruise company in an attempt to get answers, but haven’t received a response.

Michael Gannon, a spokesman for the Australian Medical Association WA, said cruise ships are a breeding ground for bacteria.

“It’s a completely closed environment where infectious agents can spread very quickly,” he said.

The Australian Medical Association WA is making calls for a quarantine and inspection service to check ships coming in and out of the state, which would bring them in line with NSW.

Australian man kicked out of a bar because of his mullet

Hockey player Wayne Gretzky had an amazing mullet while playing for the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s.

This has nothing to do with food safety but does raise the question of priorities in some Australian bars.

According to Eater.com a man says he got kicked out of the Print Hall rooftop bar in Perth because he has a mullet.

Talking to The West Australian, David Hoogland said, “I’m not in a gang, I don’t have tattoos all over me, I’m just an everyday person.”

No, he has just proudly worn a mullet for the past ten years. Hoogland had been at the bar for half an hour before he was asked to leave “because of his hair.” The bar has as yet declined to comment on the matter.

According to one mullet-bearer, in Australia “some venues [believe] people with mullets or rat’s tails were more likely to become drunk and rowdy on a night out.”