Fancy food ain’t safe food, Brisbane edition: DM Jazz cafe fined $25,000 after diner finds cockroach in her risotto

I’ve walked by the DM Jazz café in Southbank, Brisbane, but never ate there. My lifestyle doesn’t demand that.

DM.jazz.risottoThe four-star rated restaurant was fined more than $25,000 after a customer found a live cockroach in her chicken and mushroom risotto.

The dish was served at the DM jazz cafe at South Bank on April 1 last year, sparking a council inspection which shut the restaurant down for two days.

The inspection found the kitchen was infested with cockroaches, while uncovered meat and built-up grease was also discovered, Brisbane Magistrates Court heard.

Domanni Corporation, which runs the restaurant, pleaded guilty to charges of one count of selling unsuitable food and 10 counts of failing to comply with requirements imposed by the food standards code in relation to the conduct of a food business and was fined $24,000. Owner Doina Poplacinel was fined an additional $1500 with no conviction recorded.

Annette Welsford, who was served the risotto plus cockroach, told The Courier-Mail outside the court that she had been horrified to find the insect.

“I was just about to tip on some parmesan and my daughter-in-law said: ‘Oh my God, it’s a cockroach’,” she said.

“There’s this cockroach standing up in the bowl waving its legs around.”

She said the manager immediately grabbed the dish, offering another meal, later explaining the cockroach may have been in someone else’s salad and just flew in.

Ms Welsford said she and her family had been extremely unimpressed.

“It really ruined the day for us,” she said.

Defence barrister Scott Neaves said the restaurant owners, who had previously owned two restaurants in Melbourne after emigrating from Romania, had been badly affected by floods.

Magistrate Anne Thacker said the restaurant had shown it was able to regain its four-star rating with Brisbane City Council soon after the incident but the fine needed to be a sufficient deterrent.

She said the restaurant had not upheld the “high standard that is demanded by our lifestyle here in Brisbane.”