A recent investigation by The Herakd Sun has found that Victorian councils and the Health Department are routinely failing to alert the public to unhygienic food outlets.
The result of the investigation suggests that a recent salmonella outbreak at a Ballarat pizza parlour, which feeled at least 18 people and has been linked to the death of an 82 year old man, is the tip of the iceberg.
Other cases include:
- June 2011: About 13 attendees and two staff at a hotel function fall ill. Fuite platter is the suspected cause.
- May 2011: 24 people fall ill after dining at a hotel, including 13 who ate chicken parmigiana.
- March 2011: 17 people acutely ill, some taken to hospital after eating Vietnamese chick and pork rolls from a western suburbs bakery. Problem was traced back to chicken liver pate.
- March 2011: 25 fall victim, including 6 taken to hospital, after eating sushi hand rolls with suspect mayonnaise from a shp in the City of Boroondara.
- February 2011: 84 people affected with 19 taken to hospital after eating sushi hand rolls using raw-egg mayonnaise at Sushiman Box Hill
- October 2010: 24 people fall ill aftera function at a hotel restaurant. Suspected cause was beef curry and steamed rice.
Health department figures show a significant rise in salmonella cases in the past two years, many of them linked to eggs.
One of the states worst outbreak of food poisoning occured at Sushiman, Box Hill, last year. The owners of the store, Yu Hui Investments (Australia) Pty Ltd were fined $145,000 in July over the incident, though the court heard that it was so serious taht penalites of up to $2 million could have been applied.
Some victims were so sick they thought that they might die and at least one was left with what might be life-long health problems.
The council forced the business to close for about a month. It has since re-opened with a 'five star' council safety rating.
A month after the Sushiman outbreak, 25 people fell fill and six went to hospital after eating sushi hand rolls form an unnamed shop in the City of Boroondara, the council will not name the shop and says that the owners were not prosecuted.
Visit the Herald Sun's website here for view an interactive map of food safety breaches in Victoria.