The owner of Centrepoint Buffet was yesterday fined a total of $18,423 in Caloundra Magistrate Court for multiple charges relating to food hygiene and cleanliness.
Magistrate Stephanie Tonkin issued a global penalty for nine charges of $17,000 in addition to $1,423 for professional and court costs.
Sunshine Coast Council Community Programs Councillor Jenny McKay said the health and safety of residents was paramount to Council and 95% of food businesses provided quality, hygienic and safe food to their customers.
"Our environmental health officers proactively audit all of the 1,775 fixed, 91 mobile and 158 temporary food business premises throughout the region to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2006 and the Food Standards Code," she said.
"Our focus is on education and awareness, and if a food safety contravention is identified Council will consult with the food business to understand and address the issue. And most of the food operators on the Sunshine Coast are doing the right thing, with only around 5% issued with improvement notices.
"In this instance however, council determined the business had a number of critical food safety non-compliances and out of concern for customer safety took the case to prosecution.
"The central message from today's case to all food businesses on the Sunshine Coast is provide your customers with safe, hygienic food or face the consequences.
"Council takes food safety seriously and works with food businesses to ensure they meet the food safety standards. When a business fails to work with Council, we have no option left but to prosecute to enforce the law to protect the community."