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Unlicensed food operators convicted



23 November 2006

Unlicensed food operators convicted

Five food businesses in Auckland city have been convicted and discharged for failing to renew their food licence while continuing to operate.

The operators appeared in the Auckland District Court over the past month and pleaded guilty to operating as a food premise without being registered under the Health Regulations Act (1966) by a local authority.

The businesses were ordered to pay a total of $4390 in outstanding fees and costs to obtain a new license. Those businesses are:

• Craft, Richmond Road - $990

• Mr Luckies, Karangahape Road - $880

• Victoria Mart, Victoria Street West - $840

• Mid City Kebabs, Queen Street - $1260

• Breeze Cafe, Broadway - $600.

Auckland City environmental health specialist, Darryl Thompson, says the council warned the businesses of the consequences for not having a license but all refused to co-operate.

“We clearly communicate to all food operators their obligations and prosecution is always a last resort. Unfortunately, these outlets ignored warnings to either comply or face legal action.

“All food outlets in Auckland must follow the rules and that includes registering and renewing their licence each year.

“As soon as their licence expires, their grade does too and we are aware of this instantly,” Mr Thompson says.

Auckland City has a strict food safety policy and a robust grading system to match. Any premises used for the manufacture, preparation or storage of food for sale must be registered with the council and will then be inspected regularly to receive a grade. This includes restaurants and cafes, bakeries, dairies, grocery stores and supermarkets.

Auckland City grades each food premise and their grade must be displayed in a prominent place where all customers can see it.

Mr Thompson says it is important for members of the public to be aware of the food grades so that they can make an informed decision about where to eat or purchase food.

The council is taking legal action against four other operators for having unlicensed premises. They are due to appear in court over the next month.

A food premise licence runs from 1 September to 31 August each year and it must be renewed on or before the expiry date.

For further information about Auckland City’s food grading system, or to find out what grade food outlets near you have, visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/foodgrading .


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