A customer dobbed (that’s Australian for, to inform against someone) a popular Brisbane restaurant Les Bubbles to food safety authorities after a rat scurried past her during the dinner rush, a court has been told.
Melanie Petrinec of the Courier Mail reports embattled restaurateur Damian Griffiths was today fined $3000 and company Limes Properties Pty Ltd was fined $30,000 after pleading guilty to breaches of food standards.
Griffiths was overseas when the case was mentioned in the Brisbane Magistrates Court last week, and did not appear in person.
Instead, his lawyer made submissions in writing to the court to say Griffiths was “simply unaware of what was going on” at his former restaurant when the rat was discovered in October, 2016.
Les Bubbles is now under new management and a spokesperson says all checks and pest inspections were now up to date.
Brisbane City Council prosecutor Andrea Lopez said it was irrelevant if he was aware or not, and revealed it was a customer who raised the alarm with authorities.
“A live rodent during a busy dinner rush has actually run across the room in the restaurant,” she said.
“The rodent has been quite comfortable in the food business.”
Subsequently, food safety inspectors claimed to find dirty equipment and rodent droppings in multiple areas including under the kitchen bench, under a downstairs bar and near the dishwashing area.
Ms Lopez said the rat droppings indicated “quite a large presence of rodent activity”.