Mermaid Beach Bangkok Thai owner has ordered to pay more than $20,000

Mermaid Beach is a lovely spot on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Vinya Chantra.bankok.thaiThis Thai restaurant, not so much.

Alexandria Utting of the Gold Coast Bulletin reports Mermaid Beach restaurant Bangkok Thai was the subject of legal proceedings in the Southport Magistrates Court after business owner Vinya Chantra (right) and the company to which he is a director, Chantra Enterprises, were charged with three counts of failing to comply with food standards codes.

The charges came after council inspectors found the popular Thai restaurant in a “gross level of filth” with food waste, dirt, grime and rodent droppings on tables used to prepare food.

The court heard the restaurant had received improvement notices for cleanliness on several occasions since September 2012, but had only paid one fine of $580 for a breach of food safety laws in 2015.

Magistrate John Costanzo individually fined Chantra $2,955 for allowing food safety breaches in his business.

He was also ordered to pay $1,250 to council in costs and $89.90 for the filing of court documents.

The company Chantra Enterprises was separately fined $14,725, as well as costs and filing fees.

German cockroaches invade filthy UK takeaway

The owners of the Chick ‘N’ Spice takeaway were fined and the premises were closed after inspectors found an infestation of German cockroaches.

cockroach_1_finEaling Council food safety officers found the cockroach infestation around a chest freezer in the takeaway, with evidence of adults, nymphs and egg casings.

The borough’s cabinet member for safety, culture and community services, Councillor Ranjit Dheer, said: “The vast majority of food outlets in Ealing comply with hygiene requirements.

“The council responded swiftly to tackle the serious and inexcusable hygiene breaches committed by Chick ‘N’ Spice, and had no hesitation closing the premises to protect public safety.”

£30k fine slapped on UK Indian takeway owner after pools of blood found in freezer

A takeaway boss has been forced to pay out more than £33,000 after health inspectors found pools of blood in a freezer and cobwebs on light fittings at his business.

Maya takeaway Salik Mohammed Miah, 42, the owner of Maya takeaway in Polesworth, was handed one of the largest fines in the history of North Warwickshire Borough Council after a catalogue of hygiene horrors were exposed during an inspection.

Uncovered boxes of prawns, chicken and rice were also discovered along with containers of curry sauce stored on the floor and a dirty sink containing disgusting cloths and sponges.

Oh Kansas, what is wrong? Downtown Lawrence restaurant reopens day after closing for nearly 100 live roaches

A downtown Lawrence restaurant voluntarily closed its doors earlier this month after a health inspector discovered nearly 100 live roaches on the premises.

Yokohama SushiA day later, Yokohama Sushi, 811 New Hampshire St., reopened. For area diners unfamiliar with the inspection process, it may seem like a fast turnaround, but a Kansas Department of Agriculture spokesperson called it a typical timeline.

On May 2, a restaurant inspection at Yokohama discovered the roaches, explained Heather Lansdowne, a spokesperson for the KDA. The next day, the restaurant voluntarily closed its doors and underwent a follow-up inspection, which found additional live roaches, though fewer in number. A pest control company was called in to treat the restaurant for the insects, caulking and baiting areas around water lines, crevices, cracks and near equipment, according to the inspector’s report. A second follow-up inspection later that day discovered no roaches, and the restaurant was listed back in compliance with health codes, the report says.

The restaurant reopened May 4.

A Yokohama representative did not return phone calls from the Journal-World seeking comment for this story.

When asked whether a single day of work was enough to clear up a significant roach problem and make a restaurant sanitary for its customers, Lansdowne said the restaurant followed a usual pattern based on the department’s standards.

‘Maybe you’re not used to spicy food’ SinCity Thai shut down after customers complain of foodborne illness

SinCity Thai Restaurant was shut down after receiving several customer complaints of foodborne illness. 

SinCity ThaiAccording to the complaint filed May 10, three customers that ate the beef pad thai and chicken pad thai reported diarrhea hours later. 

13 Action News spoke to the manager of SinCity Thai, Unchanlee Karnchai, who said the customers may not be used to the spicy food. 

“It could be the food or because they cannot handle the spicy food,” said Karnchai. 

After the complaints, the Southern Nevada Health District went in to investigate. 

In a report, they found multiple violations, including, a sanitizer bucket that was originally on the floor was moved near a food prep area next to a cutting board and green onions. 

They also found multiple food that was left at room temperature. Including, thawing beef that sit next to dirty dishes and waste. 

“Employees hadn’t been trained on what they had to do that day,” Karnchai explained. 

There were also several employee violations, including, employees not washing their hands and the kitchen hand sink did not have soap or paper towels. 

Honey Pig fails second health inspection this year

In Georgia, USA, why not have Gwinnett County’s most popular Korean barbecue named Honey Pig, and fail its second health inspection this year. 

honey.pig
Honey Pig, located at 3473 Old Norcross Road in Duluth
, received a 53/U during its Wednesday inspection. It was the same score health inspectors gave it during a January evaluation.

During Wednesday’s inspection, officials noted “multiple foods not covered in walk in cooler,” improperly cooling radish soup and unlabeled spices. According to the inspection report, “large food service containers” were also stored outside the restaurant and a hand-washing sink was “gushing water at the seams.”

Daisy_DukesWednesday’s failure was the second straight on a routine inspection for Honey Pig, which bills itself as “Atlanta’s No. 1 Korean barbecue restaurant” and allows diners to cook their own meals on tabletop grills. During the restaurant’s failed January 19 inspection, officials reportedly saw a live spider crawling in dried soup stock. Points were also taken off for potential contamination of raw beef. The restaurant scored a 96/A on the follow-up to that inspection.

FSSAI adds restaurant hygiene to its menu

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has turned its attention to restaurants, eating joints and hotels to enforce hygiene standards.
A sub-group consisting of industry bodies like the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and the FSSAI have been formed to amend rules that govern safety standards at eating establishments.

Food-Safety-and-Standards-Authority-of-India-FSSAIThe sub-group was formed following a meeting last week in New Delhi among the FSSAI, NRAI, FHRAI as well as popular fast-food companies like Yum! and hotel groups like Taj and ITC.

FSSAI Chief Executive Officer Pawan Kumar Agarwal, while confirming the development to Business Standard, said enforcing food safety standards at eating places was a must.

“Hotels, restaurants and eating joints need an FSSAI licence to operate but food safety standards are not necessarily met. We wanted to get a sense of what the industry’s view was on the subject and whether they were open to the idea of stringent enforcement,” Agarwal said.

Cops beware: Detroit sandwich maker hit with order over safety

A Detroit company that has supplied sandwiches to police departments, gas stations and small stores for more than 50 years has been ordered to stop until it complies with food safety rules.

herb.tarlet.kiss.cookA federal judge signed an injunction Thursday, weeks after ruling in favor of regulators and against Scotty’s Inc. The company was accused of violating safety rules, especially in its handling of tuna sandwiches. The customers are in Ohio and Michigan.

Inspectors found mold on ceiling tiles and a lack of appropriate hand-washing, among other problems. The government says Scotty’s didn’t have a food hazard analysis plan in place.

A message seeking comment from Scotty’s attorney Jerome Moore wasn’t immediately returned Friday.

OMG, it’s still 2000: Canadian restaurant lobby says inspections are too complex for a single grade

Over 16 years after the Dirty Dining series of articles appeared in the Toronto Star, which led to the creation of the red-yellow-green restaurant inspection disclosure system, and the arguments haven’t changed: people want the information, good restaurants promote their good food safety scores, and the various lobbies think the system is silly.

2000.pop.cultureOn Jan. 8, 2001, Toronto’s DineSafe program was launched.s

But before the bylaw came into effect, the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association sought an injunction to prohibit the requirement to post the rating signs. I was retained to write a report on the merits and flaws of restaurant inspection disclosure and in particular the use of red-yellow-green. I wrote my report, it was submitted. The restaurant thingies lost the case and lost an appeal. I didn’t get to testify, and was disappointed that I had lost the opportunity to be in a courtroom where I wasn’t charged with something.

CBC Television’s Marketplace has decided to revisit the issue.

Canadians love to dine out, but information about how restaurants fare in health inspection reports is not always easy to find, a CBC Marketplace investigation reveals.

Canadian households spend an average of about $2,000 every year eating in restaurants, and almost two million of us contract foodborne illnesses while eating out, according to Health Canada.

The difficulty for restaurant patrons is that Canada has a patchwork of rules and regulations around how inspection reports are made public.

Some Canadian provinces or cities publish inspection results, but they’re not posted in restaurants where people can see them before ordering a meal. Others, such as Manitoba, do not publish reports, although after a Marketplace investigation the province agreed to make some available to the CBC.

toronto.red.yellow.green.grades.may.11Toronto launched a public restaurant grading system more than a decade ago that posts the results where customers can see them, a move the city says contributed to a dramatic jump in compliance levels and a significant drop in foodborne illness. But an industry group has opposed attempts to introduce similar systems elsewhere, and few jurisdictions have adopted the city’s approach.

“Food safety is a very serious matter,” says Jim Chan, a retired public health inspector who spent 36 years with Toronto Public Health. “Anything that can affect my decision not to expose myself to a health hazard, any Canadian in the country should have the right to that information. As a citizen I should have that information to be able to make an informed decision.”

CBC Marketplace analyzed the data from almost 5,000 public health restaurant inspections in five Canadian cities — Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Toronto and Ottawa — from a one year period.

Marketplace’s investigation, Canada’s Restaurant Secrets, ranks 13 chains based on their inspection records, including coffee shops, fast food restaurants and family dining establishments. The episode airs on Friday at 8:00 p.m. (8:30 p.m. in Newfoundland and Labrador) on CBC TV.

About half of foodborne illness in Canada happen from eating in restaurants, according to Health Canada.

A 2012 report by the Conference Board of Canada on improving food safety in Canada found that while restaurants are a major source of foodborne illness, inspections by themselves don’t go far enough to protect Canadians from getting sick.

“The restaurant inspection system is helpful; enforcement should be continued. But it is too sporadic, due to limited resources for inspections, to have a decisive impact on restaurants’ actual day-to-day food safety practices,” the report states.

While the report concludes that restaurants need to voluntarily adopt good practices, the group acknowledges that consumers need to be more aware of risks.

“Because half or more of food safety incidents are associated with restaurants and other food service establishments, consumer choices about where to eat can play a role in determining the level of risk to which they are exposed.”

In some cases, foodborne illness outbreaks traced back to restaurants have sickened dozens of people. In one 2008 case, an outbreak at a Harvey’s and Swiss Chalet restaurant in North Bay sickened more than 200 people, many with confirmed cases of E.coli.

“You have no choice but to trust the people who have prepared this for you,” one person who got sick in the outbreak told Marketplace. “Like, everything can look fantastic, but a couple days later you might [experience] a couple of very alarming symptoms.”

In another case in 2011, seven people were hospitalized after eating tuna at a Subway restaurant in the Vancouver airport.

The Toronto DineSafe program requires restaurants to visibly post the results of their latest inspection, which are easy for the public to understand (the colour coded grades are green for “pass,” yellow for “conditional pass” and red for “closed”).

“It’s very transparent,” Chan says. “The operator can actually see what the customer’s seeing, so if you don’t want customer to see something bad written on the report, make sure you correct it before the health inspector walks in.

“It’s good news for food safety,” he adds.

Since DineSafe launched in 2001, Toronto has seen a 30 per cent decline in the number of cases of foodborne illness, according to Toronto Public Health figures.

“It is not possible to conclude definitively that the increased public attention paid to food safety and the program enhancements implemented by TPH during this period were responsible for the reduction in cases,” a city report cautions, “but it is reasonable to suggest that these changes played a role.”

Toronto’s program has also become a model for programs around the world, from Sacramento to Shanghai. In 2011, DineSafe won the prestigious Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for excellence in food protection. Toronto is the only city outside of the U.S. to be awarded the prize.

According to Toronto Public Health, compliance rates have jumped dramatically since the program was implemented in 2001. When the program began, only 78.2 per cent of restaurants passed inspections; by the end of 2012, that number increased to 92.4 per cent.

Yet despite these successes, the restaurant industry continues to oppose public posting of inspection results.

Restaurants Canada, a group that advocates and lobbies for the industry, actively opposes broader implementation of grading programs like Toronto’s in other Canadian cities.

While regions near Toronto, including Peel, Halton, Hamilton and London, have also adopted publicly posted grading systems, diners elsewhere face a patchwork of public health reporting systems.

Some jurisdictions post inspection results online, but it’s up to consumers to look restaurants up individually and try to understand the results. Other places, such as Montreal, do not make inspection reports public.

When Montreal abandoned a plan to implement a similar system last year, Restaurants Canada — formerly called the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) — declared it “A win for members!” on its website.

The group refused to discuss on camera why it opposes public grading systems. In a statement, spokesperson Prasanthi Vasanthakumar wrote: “CRFA is opposed to the use of a ‘grade’ or ‘score’ to inform the public about the safety and hygiene of a restaurant because complex inspection findings based on subjective interpretations by individual inspectors cannot accurately or fairly be reduced to a single grade.”

That’s right: the group representing restaurants argues the people who spend money to have a meal are too dumb to know the complexities or restaurant inspection.

I don’t eat out much: must be too dumb.

Restaurant inspection process overhauled in Louisiana

The Times-Picayune reports that a 2012 legislative audit concluded restaurant inspection in Louisiana was ineffective, inefficient, disorganized and dangerous.

louis.rest.inspectThe report scorched the Office of Public Health for its failure to detect or prevent potentially hazardous conditions in thousands of retail food establishments, putting the public’s health at risk.

J.T. Lane, assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health, reorganized the agency, promising that the changes would increase the frequency of inspections and, thereby, better protect consumers wherever food is served.

“The average (restaurant) owner, depending on what they’re operating, could see an increase in when they see an inspector walk through the door unannounced,” Lane said.

More than three years later, has Lane’s promise of a new day held true? Has the restaurant inspection process improved?

Three restaurateurs say they have not noticed much difference. But Tenney Sibley, director of state sanitarian services, said the answer is a resounding, “Yes.”

After the report’s release, the Office of Public Health moved swiftly to address these issues, Sibley said. First, it adopted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations on how frequently establishments should be inspected annually based on risk factor:

Once — Convenience stores and other outlets that mainly serve packaged foods

Twice — Fast food restaurants where products are cooked and served immediately

Three times – Full-service restaurants

Four times — Any establishment serving food to vulnerable populations including hospitals, nursing homes and schools.

Next, the department implemented an electronic scheduling system that tells sanitarians when a restaurant needs to be inspected. Before, the question of which establishment to inspect and when was largely left to the discretion of the sanitarians, with all record keeping and data collection done by hand, Sibley said.

The method by which the state inspects restaurants and other food establishments has also changed. Restaurants are now required, if possible, to fix any critical issues at the time they are discovered, and in the presence of the sanitarian. It used to be that if a restaurant was found to be storing raw chicken above salads, for example, the sanitarian ordered a fix but left the premises without ensuring the problem was addressed, Sibley said.

“I’ve been doing inspections for 26 years. When I started out, as a general rule, everyone got two weeks to fix a problem,” she said. “But as we learned and as the FDA became more active and provided more guidance, the focus changed to immediate correction. If we walked away from someone storing raw chicken over salad, what good is that if we come back in two weeks and you’re doing the same thing? How many people have been exposed to imminent health risks?”