Too much monkey business: Brisbane’s restaurant inspection sucks, city councillor’s parents fined for food safety breaches

The restaurant inspection system in Brisbane is hopeless beyond belief.

For a cow town that wants to profit from tourism rather than coal and cattle, they are beyond stupid about it.

At least we got good folks to coach the little kids in hockey.

The disclosure system is voluntary. If a restaurant gets two-stars-out-of-five, for example, they don’t put up the sign.

How is it that Toronto, LA, NYC and hundreds of other places figured out how to make restaurant inspection disclosure mandatory, yet Brisbane and most of Australia go on a faith-based system – which usually involves someone blowing someone.

According to the Courier Mail, the parents of a Brisbane city councillor have admitted breaking food safety laws enforced by the council, with inspectors finding cockroaches “happily living” in the carvery they run in a city foodcourt.

Paddington councillor Peter Matic’s parents Milovan and Milena Matic were slapped with fines after a council health inspector unearthed issues with cleanliness, maintenance and cockroaches at their Carvey and Seafood in the Myer Centre in January last year.

The couple were fined $3000 each after pleading guilty to failing to ensure the business complied with the food Act.

The company, Nano Investments Pty Ltd, also copped a $29,000 fine for five counts of failing to comply with the food standards code.

Kevin Cartledge, for Brisbane City Council, said officers inspected the eatery on January 19, 2016, and issued an improvement notice.

So a whole bunch of people ate at that shitshow after the Jan. 19, 2016 inspection, but no one bothered to tell customers.

It’s some perverse British legal system thing, that potentially puts consumers at risk for months after the failings are discovered.

When they returned two days later, the officers discovered the business was still breaching food safety laws, triggering a suspension the following day.

He said the most concerning element was the presence of a large number of cockroaches.

“You have, essentially, the perfect circumstances for cockroaches to live and breed,” he said.

“Given that there were adult and juvenile cockroaches in the premises, it clearly suggests that there was a life cycle and these cockroaches were happily living and feeding.”

He pointed out the company has had compliance issues in the past, and infringements notices had been served.

“This is a company that has been put well and truly on notice yet has still failed to comply with their requirements under the Act,” he said.

So why the fuck wouldn’t you make it public to warn unsuspecting consumers that the place was a shithole?

Too much monkey business.

Going public: Early disclosure of food risks for the benefit of public health

NEHA, Volume 79.7, Pages 8-14

Benjamin Chapman, Maria Sol Erdozaim, Douglas Powell

http://www.neha.org/node/58904

Often during an outbreak of foodborne illness, there are health officials who have data indicating that there is a risk prior to notifying the public. During the lag period between the first public health signal and some release of public information, there are decision makers who are weighing evidence with the impacts of going public. Multiple agencies and analysts have lamented that there is not a common playbook or decision tree for how public health agencies determine what information to release and when. Regularly, health authorities suggest that how and when public information is released is evaluated on a case-by-case basis without sharing the steps and criteria used to make decisions. Information provision on its own is not enough. Risk communication, to be effective and grounded in behavior theory, should provide control measure options for risk management decisions. There is no indication in the literature that consumers benefit from paternalistic protection decisions to guard against information overload. A review of the risk communication literature related to outbreaks, as well as case studies of actual incidents, are explored and a blueprint for health authorities to follow is provided.

Never there: No comment as Salmonella outbreaks close two Canberra cafes and no word in Brisbane

There’s an outbreak of Salmonella in Canberra (that’s Australia’s capital, on a swamp, like Washington, DC), and there’s an outbreak in Brisbane.

They are not related, other than no one will say something in public.

The whole idea of risk communication is to let people know when there is a problem, what they can do to avoid the problem, and stop making things worse by refusing to ID the source or the food implicated.

It’s OK, social media will fix that for the bureaucrats, but why spend taxpayer money on agencies that won’t tell the public shit?

I called Queensland Health a week ago, to ask them about the Chinese New Year Salmonella outbreak in Brisbane, and the media thingy said, e-mail your question, which I did, and still, no answer.

Government-types are never there.

Which is why I always tell private sector types to expect nothing from the government.

If there’s an outbreak, the government types will still have their job and super: you won’t.

According to ABC News two weeks ago – and there’s been nothing public since — an outbreak of salmonella has forced two popular Canberra cafes to close their doors while they are investigated by health inspectors.

The ACT Government Health Protection Services (HPS) has served prohibition orders on the two cafes linked to the outbreak, located in Belconnen and Gungahlin.

The cafes are Ricardo’s in Jamison and the Central Cafe in Gungahlin.

In a statement, HPS said health inspectors had uncovered problems “related with food handling processes and procedures” at both stores.

“The cafes will be closed until such time as the identified issues have been rectified,” the statement said.

“This action means that there is no ongoing risk to the health of the ACT population from these events”.

The health directorate refused to comment on how many people had been affected by the outbreak while the investigation was in process.

Though there were a number of posts on social media from those claiming to have eaten at Ricardo’s before falling ill.

“I know someone who was in hospital last week, for four days, with a truly awesome bout of salmonella after eating there,” one person wrote on Facebook.

“My partner and I are both in hospital,” wrote another.

“Bought cake from there Monday last week, was shivering in bed with fever and food poisoning with girlfriend until Friday, she’s fine I’m still not over it,” a user said on Reddit.

“Ugh ate there Wednesday last week. Friday, got sick/gastro for 5 days. Guess I have an idea where it came from now…”

Brisbane KFC fined $45000 after 2015 inspection

Kate McKenna of The Courier Mail reports a Brisbane City Council health inspector not-so-finger-licking good things at a KFC store in Chermside shopping centre’s food court in March 2015.

kfc-massacreFast food restaurant operator Collins Restaurants Management was slapped with a $45,000 fine in the Brisbane Magistrates Court earlier this month after pleading guilty to six breaches of food health laws.

According to court documents, an audit on March 4, 2015, uncovered live cockroaches in locations around the kitchen including on the surface under the preparation bench, and beneath the wall capping next to the crumbing station.

The council officer found a live cockroach found on the door handle of the freezer that stored the chips, as well as 30 to 40 live critters under the gravy and mash potato bain-marie.

Other violations included no warm running water at the only hand-wash basin in the premises and a build-up of food waste on the floor.

Council prosecutor Mark Thomas said there was substantial cockroach activity in a number of places, and council was seeking a $55,000 fine against CRM, which had no prior convictions.

Ralph Devlin, QC, for CRM, said the open nature of food courts posed unique issues for food retailers because pest control could drive insects from one spot to another.

He said the company had taken swift action and closed the store following the discovery, threw out stock, stripped and cleaned equipment, and enlisted pest control to “mist” the area.

Acting Magistrate Robert Walker handed down a $45,000 fine and decided not to record a conviction against the company.

 

$30,000 worth of seafood stolen from Australian restaurant

Canada’s got its maple syrup gang, Brisbane area has its seafood thiefs.

Clare Armstrong of the Courier Mail reports more than $30,000 worth of seafood including prawns, crabs, Moreton Bay bugs and oysters was stolen from an external freezer at the Belvedere Hotel, Woody Point at about 1.45am on Wednesday.

seafood-theft-brisbanePolice said CCTV showed the thieves broke the lock on the freezer before loading more than 30 boxes of seafood into a white ute and fleeing the scene.

Belvedere General Manager Andrew Cox said the company had scrambled to replace all the stock in time for Christmas but it “could have been a total disaster”.

“These low-life people obviously don’t have any Christmas spirit at all … we ordered the seafood back in October but because of their actions more than 600 people almost had their Christmas lunch ruined,” he said.

Mr Cox said the seafood had only been delivered hours before the robbery, which appeared to have been carefully planned.

 

Brisbane-area vehicles covered in human poop

Clare Armstrong of The Courier Mail reports that two vehicles ended up covered in human waste after a truck carrying 27 tonnes of sewage was forced to brake suddenly to avoid a collision at Toowoomba.

poop-spill-brisbaneIt is understood the truck transporting the sewage lost its load when the driver braked suddenly to avoid crashing into a car outside The Big Orange fruit barn on Crowley Vale Road on Wednesday just after 8am.

The Arkwood Organic Recycling (is there any other kind of recycling shit other than organic?) truck trailer had a tarpaulin-like cover over the top but the force of the braking action caused it to rip apart and the waste spilt out.

Shocked locals took to social media to express their disgust at the scene as the truck, car and surrounding area were covered in human waste.

oddball-kellys-heros“Where’s the gag reflex,” posted one person.

“You can still get through it,” advised another person online.

Arkwood Organic Recycling Owner and Operations Manager Brendon Clarke told local media the load was secured but the abrupt stop caused the trailer’s cover on the truck to tear.

Pulling a Britney: Changing diapers on a cafe table is a microbiologically bad thing

Someone pulled a Britney – our term in honor of Britney Spears, who in 2006 thought it was OK to change a baby’s diaper on a restaurant table – in Brisbane and the owner wants the mom to never return.

britney-crazy-8Darren Cartwright of the Courier Mail reports a mother of a newborn baby wrote a scathing review on Google about Park Bench Espresso Bar in Bulimba for the reception she received for changing her baby in front of dining customers.

The review first praises the quality of the coffee before taking aim at owner Jocelyn Ridgway and other customers. She says her baby is 12-weeks old and that she put a mat down before changing the nappy.

“I approached her (the manager) upon leaving and asked if she had a problem with my baby and I sitting there. She said in quite a critical tone, that she didn’t think it was appropriate to change my baby there,” the review states.

“To this woman and the 2 other customers who made comments regarding this. Mothers don’t need your judgment or criticism. We have enough pressure and stress we deal with on a daily basis. We rarely get the opportunity to get out and have a coffee amidst the long list of things we are doing for our families every single day.

“I am sorry (not sorry) you are so terribly offended by a tiny baby’s tiny little dirty nappy that you think it necessary to criticise.”

Ms Ridgway told AAP the lady was at the coffee shop for two hours last Friday.

“She was there that long the baby did two poos,” Ms Ridgway said.

“There were people next to her. We had complaints from a group of older women who did not think it was that great.”

The coffee shop is an extension of Green Grass and Home Body retail store which Ms Ridgway started 15 years ago.

diaperThe al fresco area opened up in 2011 and a park, with several sheltered tables, is located directly across the road.

Since Ms Ridgway shared the review on Facebook with friends, she’s said she’s had nothing but support.

“I know in my heart that that was not cool. It’s an etiquette thing. She won’t be back as a customer, that’s fine. I can’t afford to have customers like her anyway,” she said.

Dirty UK hospitals serving out-of-date poorly stored food

I wrote a letter to the hospital in Brisbane where my friend has been holed up, complaining about serving sandwiches with raw sprouts to sick people – or anyone.

brisbane-hospital-foodThere was some totally unscientific answer about how these sprouts were special because they came from a different place and they disappeared from the sick persons menu for a few weeks.

The sprouts are now back.

Nothing new, food hygiene reports obtained by the Press Association under the UK Freedom of Information Act and data from the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) concluded that dirty hospitals are serving out-of-date food to patients.

Meals are being prepared in mouldy kitchens, putting vulnerable patients at “high risk” of food poisoning, while others have unclean worktops, food trolleys and sinks.

FSA data also revealed poor rankings for hundreds of care homes and children’s nurseries.

Some 400 hospitals, hospices, care homes, nurseries and school clubs are currently listed as needing “major”, “urgent” or “necessary” improvement.

One care home was infested with cockroaches while another had evidence of rats.

The Patients Association has called the findings “shameful” and “immensely worrying”.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – which rates organisations and businesses from zero to five – is run by the FSA and councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The investigation found:

Eight health and care premises currently have a zero rating – which means urgent improvement is necessary. None are hospitals.

Some 187 have a rating of one – which means major improvement is necessary. Three of these are hospital premises, including the private Priory Hospital in Altrincham, Cheshire (because in the UK, like its bastard child, Australia, private is considered better, except when it comes to the basics)..

hospital-foodAnd 205 are ranked as two – improvement necessary. They include six hospitals and about 100 care homes. Among those given the ranking of two was Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

At Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, an inspection of its kitchens serving patients found:

Sliced chicken two days past its use-by date (hello, Listeria?).

Staff had created their own date labels for when they thought food should be used, creating a “high risk” for patients who might develop food poisoning (food fraud)).

The experts also found leaking sinks, “inadequate” knowledge among staff about how to handle food safely, and mouldy areas, including the salad preparation room.

Food was being kept in fridges with temperatures up to 13C despite rules saying they should be 5C or below to prevent bacteria developing.

Darryn Kerr, director of facilities at Leicester’s Hospitals, said the organisation was “disappointed” by the ratings.

He said catering services were brought back in-house in May after being run by an external provider.

Parkview Residential Care Home in Bexleyheath, south-east London, was found to have an “infestation of Oriental cockroaches” during an August inspection.

The kitchen was closed voluntarily for the second time following a previous warning and inspectors gave it a zero rating.

Ivy House care home in Derby, which specialises in dementia care, scored zero after inspectors found evidence of rat activity.

Dumbass put own address on letter demanding $12.7 million from Brisbane food manufacturer

A Brisbane man tried to extort $12.7 million from a food manufacturer using a video of rats, cockroaches and sharp utensils in or near food, a court has heard.

sq-willard-crispin-glover-rat-nlDaniel Rupert Sridharan is standing trial in the District Court accused of telling the company that unless he was paid $12.7 million he would release footage to showing cockroaches, “a rat in a tub” and “a sharp utensil found (in product)”.

In her opening address to the jury Crown Prosecutor Sarah Farnden said Sridharan wrote a letter to the company — whose name has been suppressed by the court — saying that “(the company) can hide the truth from auditors and customers but can never hide the truth from its own employees.”

“He claims the footage will be sent to (various lobby groups),” Ms Farnden told the jury.

Ms Farnden said Sridharan tried to extort the company in a six-page letter he sent to them on March 16 last year.

The letter allegedly demanded the cash payment in return for not leaking video footage to the authorities and major supermarkets including footage of a rat in the manufacturing facility.

“It was sent by registered post, and had the defendants’ name and address clearly marked as the sender on the envelope,” Ms Farnden said.

Fine dining in Brisbane

A restaurant operator who was caught storing dodgy ice-cream balls and tenderising chicken at an ‘alarming’ temperature has been ordered to pay a hefty fine.

West End GardenMinh Tri Nguyen, who operates the restaurant West End Garden, was last week fined $37,500 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court after he pleaded guilty to a string of food safety violations.

Brisbane City Council authorities inspected the restaurant after five diners suffered food poisoning in January 2015.

Council prosecutor Mark Thomas had previously told the court that authorities had found ice cream balls, a tea towel and dish cloth contaminated with salmonella.

He also said chicken and beef had been found tenderising in a sink at a dangerous temperature.