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Immediate closure for unsafe Manukau food premises

Media Release
20 November 2007

Immediate closure for unsafe Manukau food premises

Food premises in Manukau that get an E grade will be immediately closed by Manukau City Council.

It is part of the council’s tougher new stance on shops, restaurants and cafes that sell food. Premises that are closed after health inspectors give them an E grade will not be able to open until the faults are fixed.

Health risks that result in an E grade include the presence of rats, mice and cockroaches, or a build up of dirt, grime, grease and fat.

Manukau Mayor Len Brown says the initiative is about public safety and making sure people who eat out in Manukau don’t get sick.

“Food outlets with such poor hygiene standards that they get an E grade will no longer be tolerated in Manukau. It’s about cleaning up and taking pride in the city.

“These businesses also need to know that we will prosecute them unless there is a good reason not to,” Mr Brown says.

All premises that receive an E grade and those graded a D or E on consecutive inspections will be prosecuted.

“We want our town centres to become more popular as places to go for people to eat out. The majority of restaurants and cafes are high quality, we don’t want a small number of food premises with low standards giving a bad reputation.

“It’s time to get tougher on the small number of people selling food who put their customers at risk. The council’s health inspectors are seeing premises that constantly ignore hygiene regulations and our attempts to get them to improve.

“Overall, standards are high and the vast majority of food outlets are meeting standards and doing things well.

“Whenever you go out to eat or buy food look for the grade. If you can’t see one or its low then go somewhere else,” Mr Brown says.

Manukau was the first council to publicly publish food grades and its environmental health officers regularly inspect premises to make sure they meet hygiene regulations.

Recent figures show there are 21 E graded premises in Manukau. This represents only 1.7 per cent of all food premises in the city

People can check the grading of a food premise on the council's website www.manukau.govt.nz, or by phoning the council call centre on 262 5104. Any complaints about a food premise should also be reported to the call centre.


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