The Hub at Varsity Lakes, one of the Gold Coast's most popular dining and drinking hangouts for university students, has been hit with fines totalling more than $29,000 after council inspectors found cockroaches and the kitchen in a filthy condition.
On September 11 this year a council environmental health officer visited the venue and identified a number of breaches of the Food Standards Code. The officer found unclean contact equipment, a build-up of food waste and cockroaches inside the premises and poor hygiene practices with workers not provided with soap or hand towels.
The Hub has a "history of contraventions" dating back to April last year and those poor standards had unfortunately continued after the inspection in September.
At a court hearing last Friday neither management nor sole owner of the business, Courtney Tennyson Bell, appeared. The Magistrate Catherine Pirie found The Hub guilty of failing to comply with the Food Standard Code and fined them $15,500. An order was included to pay professional and court costs.
In addition, Ms Pirie found Ms Bell guilty under executive officer liability for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the restaurant met the requirements of the Food Standard Code. Ms Bell was fined $13,500 and ordered to pay costs.
The previous highest fine for a Gold Coast restaurant was handed out in August this year to Saks waterfront bar in the amount of $15,000. In that case the council had sought a fine of up to $25,000 but, as Saks had no previous breaches, the court lowered the penalty.