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Cl Successfully Prosecutes Filthy Food Premise

Council Successfully Prosecutes Filthy Food Premise

Another firm warning has been sent to food retailers recently after Council successfully prosecuted the owner of the Steamboat Delight restaurant in Manukau City.

Environmental Health Team Leader Ian Milnes is delighted that the courts have once again given a clear message to food premise owners who operate under unhygienic conditions and put their customers at risk.

“Food premises owners must understand that they cannot gamble with the safety of others particularly with regard to food contamination and disease. These conditions are unacceptable and we will continue to prosecute so that public safety is preserved.” says Mr Milnes.

The owner of the restaurant entered a guilty plea to all 14 charges under the Health Act, Food Regulations and Food Hygiene Regulations in front of Judge Blackie in the Manukau District Court.

In his ruling Judge Blackie described the premises as a disgrace and pointed out that the restaurant had been closed in the past to no affect. After imposing fines totalling $4120.00, he stated that the fines he could impose under the regulations, which were passed in 1974, were hopelessly out of date. He also commented that this was one of the worst cases he had come across.

The 14 charges related to incidents, which occurred in June 2002 and include (amongst others):

Failure to adequately clean premises Torn and broken bags of rotting and putrid rubbish were being stored immediately outside the rear door of the premises A number of light fittings in the kitchen contained no light bulbs or fluorescent tubes. Council officers required the use of torches to carry out their inspection adequately. The temperature in the refrigeration where the meat was stored was measured at 14°C, instead of the requirement of less than 4°C. White plastic cutting boards were discoloured with dried blood and did not appear to have been cleaned for some time.

Mr Milnes says customers should look for a shop’s Food Grading Certificate. “If there isn’t one displayed you need to ask why and request to see the current certificate. They can also check the Food Grading Certificate List on Council’s website www.manukau.govt.nz, at their local library or by calling Council’s 24x7 Call Centre 262 5104.”

All registered food premises in Manukau, including dairies, supermarkets, takeaways, restaurants and petrol stations are issued with an A, B, D, or E grade certificate. These must be publicly displayed so that the customer can see them when entering premises.

Council is now taking the necessary steps to determine if the Certificate of Registration for the Steamboat Delight Restaurant should be revoked.

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