Punjab Food Authority giving unsanitary restaurants an easy time of it

A food safety officer requesting anonymity said the Punjab Food Authority in Pakistan had received a complaint that an assistant food safety officer had received Rs50,000 bribe from the restaurant owner so he could keep his restaurant open. At the time, the PFA director general had constituted a three-member committee to probe the complaint which was later shelved, he said.

The food safety officer said this wasn’t the only restaurant that had reopened before the stipulated period. The SOPs regarding duration of closure and required permission from the PFA DG are being flouted openly, he said.

In the first week of 2015, Food Safety Officer Nadeem fined a restaurant in GOR-I for unhygienic conditions anPunjab Food Authorityd lack of soaps in the workers’ washrooms. According to the SOP, the restaurant should have been sealed but it was fined Rs25,000 instead.

PFA spokesperson Fareeha Anwer said the SOP had been amended a little but it was being observed to the letter. She said a written permission from the DG used to be mandatory in order to de-seal restaurants, but now an operations deputy director can also issue permission for it.


Sink plug found in Hog’s Breath Cafe salad in Australia

My parents made the trek to Australia a few weeks ago and we went to the Hog’s Breath Cafe in Coolangatta while enjoying the beach.

hogs.breathe.cafe.sink.plugThey enjoyed their steak, but it didn’t have a sink plug in it, like a customer’s salad over the weekend.

The customer posted an image on Hog’s Breath Aspley Facebook page, where it was “liked” more than 2000 times.

Hog’s Breath Cafe Australian general manager Ross Worth said the company had been in contact with the woman and apologised.

He said food hygiene was a top priority for the company and they had notified local health authorities about the incident.

Mr Worth said the plug had come from a sanitised ice food bath that was designated for fresh produce like lettuce and tomatoes to be washed in.

“On that day the staff members have pulled fresh produce out of the bath and accidently pulled the plug with it,” he said.

“The business owner has re-trained his staff on the right processes to make sure this doesn’t ever happen again.”

Mr Worth said plugs would be chained to the ice baths prevent them from being dislodged.

Toronto looks at daycares, nursing homes for DineSafe

While other cities continue to fight a losing war against restaurant inspection disclosure, Toronto is planning to expand its red-yellow-green placard system to daycares, hospitals, nursing homes and school cafeterias, 20 months after a Ryerson University/Star investigation revealed serious gaps in the city’s heralded DineSafe program.

toronto.dinesafeDr. David McKeown, Toronto’s medical officer of health is recommending city council expand DineSafe to food-serving institutions including daycares, hospitals, nursing homes and school cafeterias. They would have to prominently display green (pass), yellow (cautionary pass) or red (fail) health inspection results.

McKeown also wants the notices posted for public pool and spa water tests.

Expanding DineSafe disclosure “will increase compliance with health and safety requirements and result in improved public health,” he states in a report released Monday.

About 2,000 food-serving institutions are not covered by stringent DineSafe requirements introduced 14 years ago and credited with reducing dangerous health violations by Toronto restaurants.

Because daycares, hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions “serve vulnerable populations, they are considered high-risk food premises requiring at least three compliance inspections annually,” the report states.

“You guys get the credit for pushing us to disclose,” Toronto Public Health food safety manager Jim Chan said at the time.

However, institutions were not forced to display green, yellow or red signs at their entrances.

McKeown’s proposed bylaw would expand DineSafe to “premises where food or milk is manufactured, processed, prepared, stored, handled, displayed, distributed, transported, sold or offered for sale, but does not include a private residence.”

About time: Ho Chi Minh to issue fine to food safety violations

Individuals or businesses that violated food safety and hygiene regulations will receive a fine up to VND 200 million (US$9,260) said a representative from the Department of Industry and Trade in Ho Chi Minh City at a meeting.

Ho Chi Minh City.foodThe rule was introduced at a meeting between the Department with these enterprises of the city’s market stability program, aiming at deterring people from unsafe foodstuffs.

A toilet entrance is not a place to vac-pack meat: UK butcher to pay £4,400 for food hygiene offences

A butcher who used a toilet entrance to vacuum-pack cooked meat has been been ordered to pay £4,400 after admitting a string of food safety offences.

vac.pac.meatKevin Blanchard, of Master Butcher in Trelawney Avenue, Langley, was sentenced at Slough Magistrates’ Court on April 2 after pleading guilty to seven offences.

They included failing to ensure that lavatories did not open directly into rooms in which food is handled, failing to put in place and implement permanent food safety procedures, and not keeping the premises clean.

Nah nah na nah nah: Shanghai to grant more anonymity for food safety tip-offs

Whistleblowers seeking more anonymity when giving food safety tip-offs will be eligible for rewards under new city regulations.

tattletale-kidUntil now, anyone providing a tip-off had to leave their name and contact details to receive a reward.

This initiative is part of efforts to ensure that at least 95 percent of food products in markets and restaurants meet quality standards during random inspections, officials said yesterday.

Last year, whistleblowers shared 746,000 yuan (US$120,500) in 1,396 rewards for providing food safety tip-offs in Shanghai.

This was an increase of nearly 90 percent on 2013, said Xue Mingyang, director of the education, science, cultural and health commission with the city’s legislative body.

Once confirmed, the whistleblower receives a reward of 5 percent of the case value, with a minimum sum of 500 yuan. But they must leave their name and contact details.

Now the city will amend regulations to require fewer personal details from whistleblowers, allowing them to retain more anonymity while still receiving rewards, Xue said.

Always the kids: UK nursery is told to clean up after dire food-hygiene rating

A nursery school for children aged between six weeks and five years old has been given a food-hygiene rating of one out of five.

Wolfson Nursery on Linton Road, North OxfordWolfson Nursery on Linton Road, North Oxford, was inspected by Oxford City Council’s environmental department last month.

It was informed that the low for food-hygiene rating meant that “major improvements” were necessary and unless these were completed, formal action would be taken.

The nursery was judged to have inadequate provision for washing utensils and equipment used for food, and was asked to install a double sink or preferably a dish washer.

It is embarrassing: Fave restaurant closed in Florida

Anna Maria Island, how I’ve missed you.

And you’re breaking my heart.

amy.doug.dec.12The Bradenton Herald reports the Sandbar restaurant reopened Wednesday afternoon after inspectors from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, who found live roaches on the premises during a routine restaurant inspection this week, cleared it for reopening.

“The restaurant is thoroughly investigating the incident and has corrected the issues,” according to a press release sent out by the Sandbar.

In a report Tuesday, an inspector wrote:

“Observed approximately one live roach next to hand wash sink and two near two door stand up reach in cooler, 15 live roaches under steam table in wait station area and 20 live roaches on box under steam table on cook line in the kitchen adjacent to the indoor dining area.”

The inspection also found seven other violations, including unsafe food holding temperatures and an ice scoop with no handle.

Joe Rogers, general manager of the Sandbar, said roaches love to make a home in cardboard boxes, and a few boxes were left in the secondary kitchen in the same spot for five to six days. The boxes contained to-go coffee cup lids and no food was in the boxes, he said. But even boxes of non-food items are not allowed to be stored on the floor, as noted in the April 14 inspection report. By the time the staff decided to move the boxes, several roaches had found their way into them.

“For 39 years we’ve been doing business, we’ve never had an issue like this,” Rogers said. “We’re doing everything we can. We take pride in keeping our place clean and this is embarrassing.”

Rogers said the restaurant, located at 100 Spring Ave., has the same pest control company service return at least once per month.

A third inspection around 1 p.m. Wednesday cleared the restaurant, and the Sandbar reopened in the afternoon.

Fancy food ain’t safe food: Pennsylvania: Skytop Lodge edition

The main kitchen and bakery at the historic Skytop Lodge reopened Tuesday after being shut down by the state Friday for food safety violations.

skytop.lodgeAn inspection by the state Agriculture Department’s Bureau of Food Safety resulted in 17 violations, including the order to close the kitchen and bakery. Skytop’s Windsor restaurant remained open despite the closure of its main kitchen.

A department sanitarian cited the Barrett Township resort for violations at several food locations. The inspection uncovered a dead mouse and mouse droppings, the presence of live roaches “too numerous to count,” and keeping foods at either too high or too low temperatures.

Surf, sun and hockey in the Gold Coast: Chinese restaurant serves up menu of monstrosities

We travelled to the Gold Coast yesterday afternoon for a friendly game with our colleagues by the beach (that’s the Dalgity, brothers, right, celebrating victory).

dalgity.hockey.apr.15Afterwards, a bunch of the families went to a restaurant, but it was not Top One Chinese seafood restaurant which plead guilty in Southport Magistrates Court to breaches of the Food Act after Gold Coast City Council health inspectors found severe shortcomings in food standards.

Raw meat covered with a tablecloth, dirty containers and kitchen bowls ready for use, opened bags of peanuts containing rodent droppings and live and dead cockroaches on the floor were all catalogued by inspectors as the restaurant was slapped with a breach notice for an “unsatisfactory standard of cleanliness”.

Inspectors also noted cockroach body parts, food with no lids and crabmeat stored in uncovered and dirty containers.

221430-953b0b0e-df55-11e4-b60a-424ceb2f883cThe restaurant had also been given four improvement notices over the previous five years.

Representing Top One and licensee Ricky Kwok Fai Wong, lawyer Mark Fitz-Walter said the restaurant’s managers had already taken steps to ensure there were no further breaches, including hiring a health consultant.

Magistrate Dermot Kehoe fined the restaurant $22,500, plus costs.