Source: NSW Food Authority
The Industrial Magistrate's Court has found a company previously operating
a Sydney restaurant completely failed in its duty to maintain standards of
cleanliness and hygiene and ordered the operators pay $35,200 in fines and
costs, Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan said today.
Suchen Trading Pty Ltd, the previous owner of Tum Tum's Thai restaurant in
Sydney's Darlinghurst was charged with 24 offences under the Food Act,
including poor food handling, pest infestation, poor hygiene, unclean
premises and lack of maintenance of the premises during inspections
conducted in January 2008.
A prohibition order was issued on the premises at the time and was lifted
once all identified breaches of the Food Act were rectified.
"This is a serious case of a restaurant flouting the laws that are in place
to protect diners in NSW," Minister Whan said.
"The NSW Food Authority took swift action to prevent any further risk to
public health and safety by issuing a prohibition order on the restaurant.
"The NSW Government will not tolerate businesses that put the health of
consumers at risk and risk damaging the reputation of an industry that for
the most part is comprised of hard working, law abiding operators."
In deciding the matter Chief Industrial Magistrate Greg Hart stated that in
numerous respects the premises was not in a fit condition for use in the
production of food products for human consumption.
"Not only was there a failure to deal with food waste, dirt and grease, but
a number of offences were found in relation to pest infestation in that
cockroaches and cockroach faeces were found within food containers,"
Magistrate Hart said.
The Magistrate noted that evidence gathered by the NSW Food Authority
showed there was a complete disregard for hygiene and food safety on the
defendant's behalf, despite previous warnings and enforcement by Sydney
City Council environmental health officers.
"Food preparation surfaces, food preparation equipment, and many areas
within the premises, demonstrated a complete failure on the part of the
Defendant to put in place and enforce a system for the regular maintenance
and regular cleaning of the premises," Magistrate Hart said.
"Notwithstanding the intensive efforts and considerable resources being
utilised by the NSW Food Authority in relation to the Defendant's premises,
the improvements made by the Defendant were incremental and tardy when they
clearly should have been dramatic and dealt with on an urgent basis."
Minister Whan commended Sydney City Council for their commitment to
ensuring food sold in their area was as safe as possible.
"Councils across NSW, including Sydney City Council, work in close and
effective partnership with the NSW Food Authority to ensure we can all
enjoy the food we are famous for safely."
The prosecution will be added to the NSW Food Authority's Name and Shame