Hospitality horrors in Hamilton, New Zealand

barfblogger, graduate student and salad sous chef Katie is on her way from New Zealand (below, left, exactly as shown) to her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, famous for being cold, where Wayne Gretzky played junior hockey for a bit, and home to the greatest NHL goaltender ever and my teenage-idol, Tony Esposito (and his brother, Phil, who scored a few goals over the years for the Boston Bruins).

Katie will attend Kansas State University for the summer semester and finish up those pesky MS details, like writing a thesis.

She leaves behind New Zealand, for now, and I don’t know if she ever traveled to Hamilton, N.Z., but the Waikato Times reports that more than 320 Hamilton restaurants, takeaways, eateries and caterers have failed food safety inspections in the past year and one was so dirty the council closed it down straight away.

Hamilton City Council’s environment health team inspects the city’s 800 food businesses each year and just over half pass on the first inspection.

Horror stories include filthy kitchens and surfaces covered with cockroaches.

Of the businesses inspected since July 2009, 64 had critical food safety issues which include dirtiness and food being stored either at wrong temperatures or risking cross contamination with raw food.