Thursday, 18 August 2011

Punishment is well deserved

As you know I have worked in the Food Industry for some time now and I am somewhat ashamed when I hear how people are opening cafe's, restaurants or general food stores and not respecting the Food ACT and serving disgusting contaminated food and continue to work in an unclean and unsafe work environment.

I have read numerous and shocking articles in local papers recently and must say that I am pleased to see that the Councils are now getting there foot through the door of these places and placing an impact of fines or potential court cases.

One store alone was fines $70,000 this year as they failed to correct the list of errors by their inspections, and then on their final routine inspection the following was reported "piles of meat and dirt on the floor in the meat preparation area, live and dead flies in the handbasin and on the meat and seafood preparation benches. They also found fly zappers overflowing with dead flies; mould on walls and in the seafood preparation area, tiles of rotten, mouldy and unsanitary food items on the cool-room floor. The washbasin in the meat preparation area was not working, dirty plastic sheeting and mouldy duct tape covered shelving of which milk creates and wooden pallets were also used as shelving, and there was no food grade sanitiser." (quote from the Moorabbin Leader)

Both the store and the proprietor were fined $67,500 each for their 22 breaches and were also provided the legal bill of $9,000 as punishment along with 12 months good behaviour bond with out conviction. 

Another store was reported last year with a reported 12 breaches and fined $26,000 to each of the 2 directors and to the store. These breaches consisted of "the sale of unsuitable food, failing to maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary condition, failing to prevent the entry of pests and failing to store potentially hazardous foods under temperature control. On a routine inspection they found dirt and food particles throughout the premises along with rusty utensils including scissors, cleavers, vegetable peelers and tongs of which were all being used in food preparation. Meat was being defrosted in a sink and on the floor, and large amounts of food had been left on benches" (quote from the Moorabbin Leader)

This restaurant has since undergone an education program of which has been provided by the council to support those who struggle with Food Laws and has now obtained a 5 star food rating for their efforts and is now maintaining there restaurant and abiding to correct any errors in their routine inspections.

I am pleased that the council is offering assistance and giving out hefty fines, but where is the line where they are shut down. Both these places served seafood, and are pretty extensive of errors, and could potentially damage the food industry if restaurants continue to do similar things. 

I also do not understand how these places get so bad in the first place. I know I can not work in an unclean or untidy environment myself as I too begin to feel unclean and uncomfortable. These Owners of these restaurants should have already gone through Food Safety laws and trained their staff prior to opening, and infuriates me that people who do not understand these things can just go and open a cafe or restaurant up. 

Please know readers that when the time comes to open up my own cafe, I will have a 5 star rating and will continue to hold that rating on every inspection. I understand the laws and also respect the food not only that but I dislike hearing about friends who get food poisoning. Your health is important to me.

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