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Food premises a risk to public health

Media release

29 May 2014

Food premises a risk to public health

A popular Dominion Road eatery has been prosecuted by Auckland Council for failing to meet national food health regulations. The Golden Tulip Restaurant at 537 Dominion Road, Balmoral and its owners faced multiple charges of food safety and hygiene issues and were fined almost $4,000 by the Auckland District Court this week.

In a routine inspection by Auckland Council on February 11, an environmental health officer observed a number of areas of non-compliance - offences under the regulations – including cockroaches, the use of mouldy curry paste and inadequate food protection. Other issues concerned a lack of understanding of hygiene practices such as staff wearing protective clothing, washing hands in hot water and general food safety practices.

On completion of the inspection the Golden Tulip was immediately closed and given an ‘E’ Food grade rating. Since the court case, after several reinspections and a full assessment of the operation throughout April, Auckland Council has issued the Golden Tulip with a ‘B’ grade.

Mervyn Chetty, Manager Environmental Health says “Auckland Council was extremely concerned about the Golden Tulip’s disregard for the health of its customers. Preparing contaminated food and having such a poor grasp of food safety and hygiene practices is a serious public health risk.”

This issue is a strong reminder to food operators to meet the grade. The Auckland Council food safety bylaw came into force in July 2013 and introduced a regional grading system based on compliance and risk, as well as the need for at least 50 percent of all food handlers to be trained in food hygiene.

Since the initial closure of the Golden Tulip in February, the restaurant has made a large number of changes to its premises and food safety practices and is now complying with food regulations

Ends

Notes:

Food premises are required to comply with the national Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 and the Food Act 1981, which is currently being reviewed by government and is expected to be in place in 2015.


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