Filthy food habits cost Perth Woolworths $100,000

I prefer to shop at Coles, but there is a few things I get from Woolies, especially since it’s on the way to and from school. She has a preference for tiger bread (I know it’s just white bread with stripes, but it’s on her way to swimming which is a decent bike ride, followed by an hour of laps, so for an 8-year-old, I’m not concerned about the empty calories.

woolworths-crusty-tiger-breadEmma Young of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Woolworths at Madeley’s Kingsway City must cough up $100,000-plus after numerous public health offences.

The conviction will result in a fine of $95,000 and costs of $7000 to Woolworths, which the City of Wanneroo began inspecting in October 2015 after a member of the public complained about their Woolworths brand Crusty Tiger Loaf, which was found to be ‘unsuitable for sale.’

“The inspection found that Woolworths were not in compliance with a number of food standard codes,” planning and sustainability director Mark Dickson said.

Woolworths was found to have failed to ensure its food handlers were skilled in food safety and food hygiene. It also failed to store food to protect it from contamination, failed to keep the store and its equipment clean and failed to “process only safe and suitable food”. 

Evidence of pests was also found.

Woolworths pleaded guilty to all charges.

“The City’s follow-up inspections found that the issues were rectified,” Mr Dickson said.

No more tiger bread.

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.

 

About time: Boston restaurants could face steep fine if they don’t post food safety

Matt Rocheleau of the Boston Globe reports that Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is asking the City Council for approval to fine restaurants $300 per day if they fail to post their food safety inspection letter grades in their storefronts.

ny_rest_inspect_disclosureRestaurants and food trucks would have a year to comply after the launch of the letter-grade system being developed for restaurants citywide, though the grades would be available on the city’s website.

The city’s Inspectional Services Department has been developing the program. Officials there have said restaurants would receive either an A, B, or C grade.

The program would resemble rating systems that New York, Los Angeles, and other cities have been using since as early as the late 1990s. Locally, Newton launched a similar program in the fall that requires numerical ratings to be displayed inside restaurants.

Boston officials have previously told the Globe that letter grades will be issued to all of the city’s roughly 3,000 food establishments, including restaurants, food trucks, cafeterias, and other food vendors.

When an establishment gets a low grade, inspectors will return within 30 days to reinspect, city officials have said. If the violations are corrected, the city would bump up the grade accordingly. If the issues remain, the grade would stand until the next routine inspection, officials have said.

Restaurants would be subject to the $300 fines if they fail to post their letter grades “immediately after receipt, unobstructed, at eye-level, facing outward on an exterior-facing wall or window within five feet of the main entrance in the interior of the restaurant,” according to Walsh’s proposal to the council, which was previously reported on by the Universal Hub website.

The council is due to take up the matter at a meeting in City Hall on Wednesday.

The new rating system would not cost the city any extra money, city officials have said, because it would calculate grades based on the existing system used to inspect restaurants.

 

Texas health officials fine Blue Bell a little following Listeria outbreak

Karen Robinson-Jacobs of Dallas News reports Blue Bell Creameries has been fined $850,000 by Texas health officials as a penalty for a Listeria outbreak, announced last year, that sickened 10 people and lead to a total shut down of company operations.

blue.bell.jul.15Three people died, but the company may only end up paying a fraction of that amount.

Under an enforcement agreement announced Friday between Brenham-based Blue Bell and the Texas Department of State Health Services, $175,000 must be paid within 30 days. The remaining $675,000 will be paid only if the company violates the terms of the agreement in an 18-month period, according to the state agreement.

Assuming all goes well with monitoring and testing, “upon successful completion of the eighteen-month term, the remaining balance of funds held in abeyance will be forgiven by” the state, the agreement said. 

Officials with Blue Bell could not be reached for comment.

Attorney Bill Marler, who specializes in representing victims of food-borne illness, said he thinks the fact that Blue Bell was hit with a fine is noteworthy.

“If it is $1 or $1 million, I think any fine for producing bad food sends a powerful message,” said Marler. “Any fine is very unusual. That is why any amount is significant. “

He said he has not heard whether any fines were levied by Oklahoma or Alabama, home to additional Blue Bell plants, but added “I would imagine they will.”

Under the agreement, makers of the iconic Texas brand will continue to test and monitor the ice cream following last year’s outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to Blue Bell products made in Brenham.  

Research firm PrivCo estimated that, due to the recall, Blue Bell’s 2015 sales plummeted by nearly 60 percent to $288 million.

Brisbane Chinese restaurant fined after customer finds piece of metal scourer in fried rice

A Brisbane Chinese restaurant that served fried rice containing a piece of a metal scourer that lodged in the throat of a female customer has been fined $23,000.

Bamboo Basket restaurant at Portside, in HamiltonBamboo Basket restaurant at Portside, in Hamilton, also was twice found to have live cockroaches by Brisbane City Council officers last year.

Maxine Dosen coughed up the piece of metal from the scourer and was rushed to a hospital emergency to check that she had not swallowed more.

Brisbane magistrate Judith Daley said while it was not known how the piece of metal got into the food, a chef was in the habit of using the scourer to clean a wok during cooking.

Ms Daley said there would have been a real risk that part of the scourer could fall off.

She said after the incident the chef continued to use the metal scourer, despite staff being told not to do so.

 “It all happened so quickly,’’ Ms Dosen told The Courier-Mail last year.

 “I put this fried rice in my mouth and suddenly felt something sharp, like a prawn shell, go down my throat.

 scrubber.chinese.food.jun.16“I tried to bring it back up my throat and pulled this long, curly thing out of my mouth.’’

Felix Ip, a director of family-owned business Lafeco, which owns Bamboo Basket, pleaded guilty to five Brisbane City Council charges.

Apart from a charge of selling unsafe food, there also were charges relating to grime, failing to take precautions to prevent pests and having live cockroaches in the restaurant.

 

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.

£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.

UK supermarket giant admits selling out of date food

This isn’t best-before dates, which are a guideline: this is use-by dates, which are a food safety requirement.

a-sign-outside-a-branch-of-the-uk-supermarket-chain-co-operative-food-d6m1fgSupermarket giant Co-operative Food has pleaded guilty to stocking food as much as 10 days past its use-by date at a Pangbourne store.

Representatives of the former Somerfield store at The Square, Pangbourne, were at West Berkshire Magistrate’s Court on April 21.

The group, now owned by the Co-op, pleaded guilty to contravening food safety requirements.

The offence related to an unannounced inspection in March, which found a number of food items on the market that were unsafe as use-by dates had expired.

Prosecuting, Sarah Clarke of West Berkshire Council’s legal services, said: “Officers identified 10 items of food that were past their use-by-date.”

She said that two of the items – both soups – were 10 days past the maximum date when they could be safely eaten, and one other was five days out of date.

The court heard that the Co-op has in place procedures and training to identify and check foods that are at the end of their life.

However, when trading standards investigated they found that certain procedures had not been followed, including a crucial close of business check.

Ms Clarke said: “The COB check hadn’t been completed on any day during that week.

“Store colleagues should have completed processes in line with procedures and staff should have raised this to the manager.”

 

Australian sushi restaurant fined $40,000

Inspectors found cockroaches in the microwave and freezer at a sushi bar in Brighton, Melbourne, as well as mouldy, grimy surfaces and toxic pest control products near the soy sauce, leading to a $40,000 fine.

Owner Sarah Nguyen, 36, pleaded guilty to more than 30 charges for substandard practices at her sushi bar after it was raided following a customer complaint.

Council officers found unrefrigerated chicken, dirty conditions and sushi stored above regulated temperatures.

They cited 11 non-compliant inspections at the premises over 11 months, according to Nine News. 

The Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court heard that Ms Nguyen kept the eatery in appalling conditions which posed a ‘public safety risk’. 

As the sole proprietor, Nguyen will be footing the entire bill.

Food fraud: Skimping Halal butchers in UK slapped with £15,000 fine for lacing lamb mince with cheap beef

A skimping Halal butchers has been slapped with a £15,000 fine after being caught selling ‘lamb’ mince laced with cheap beef.

halal.jpg-pwrt3Master Halal Meat butchers in Ayres Road, Old Trafford, was found guilty of two counts of food fraud at Trafford Magistrates Court April 1.

The discovery was made after Trafford Council’s Environmental Health Officers sampled produce from a number of food outlets across the borough in the wake of the UK horse meat scandal in 2015.

During the inspections, a sample lamb pattie taken from a bakery was found to contain just 50 per cent lamb. The owners insisted they were not responsible and pointed to their supplier, Master Halal Meat.

Two samples of ‘lamb’ mince were taken directly from the supplier in March 2015 and were found to contain 50 per cent beef and 30 per cent beef respectively.

When interviewed by officers, director of Master Halal Meat, Abdul Fadel, blamed the shop manager and said he had recently been sacked.

The officers returned to the shop two months later and took a further sample of ‘lamb’ mince.

The sample was again found to contain 50 per cent beef, leaving officers no choice but to prosecute Fadel.