Food safety inspectors in Queensland could be forgiven for thinking that they were in the kitchens of third world countries when they encountered a rat running loose in an oven as well as a pasta-making machine with rodent droppings in it. The list of complaints and offences is indeed long and honestly makes the stomach churn ... a 'popular' option seems to be cockroach infested kitchens due to the sheer number of them investigated.
In the south-east of the state more than 20 eateries have been closed in the past year prompting calls for a mandatory rating of restaurants in QLD similar to the 'Scores on Doors' programme in NSW.
Environmental health officers from the Gold Coast to Moreton Bay council regions have conducted more than 15,000 inspections of food stalls, catering businesses, cafes and restaurants since June 2014. Last financial year more than 100 on-the-spot fines were issued to eateries on the Gold Coast.
Brisbane officers issued more than 500 improvement notices to operators with a star rating of two or less which means that they were not meeting basic food safety standards. Brisbane City Council suspended 38 food licences and 21 businesses were prosecuted, with fines totalling more than $435,000. Of the 21 businesses prosecuted, 15 of these had their food licences cancelled.
The various councils along with QLD Health have cracked down on dangerous food practices following a number of salmonella poisoning outbreaks this year.
Dr Doug Powell, a food safety expert, has led the call for legislation to be amended so that offenders can be named and shamed. Here here we say!
Source : Gold Coast Bulletin, 20 April 2015