10 November 2004
Filthy Food Premises Fined
Manukau City Council has successfully prosecuted another food premises owner for unacceptable food hygiene standards.
The owner of the Daikoku Restaurant (Botany) Limited located at the Botany Town Centre pleaded guilty to eight charges under the Food Hygiene Regulations and Manukau City Consolidated Bylaw in the Manukau District Court late last month. The company was fined a total of $2240 (including Court costs).
The eight charges were laid after Council Environmental Health Officers carried out a routine inspection of the premises on 26th February 2004. The inspection revealed that the premises were very dirty and had not been cleaned for some time. Food was exposed to contamination and the restaurant's 'E' grading certificate was not being displayed.
Incidences of inadequate food hygiene practices included:
" the walls around the deep fryer, chest freezer and dishwasher, and light switches, shelving and kitchen wash-hand basins were coated with fatty condensate and black grime.
" the floor of the kitchen was black with dirt and the skirting boards contained a thick layer of dust.
" the dishwasher was brown with grime and omitted an offensive odour, the ovens were caked with dirt and the chest freezer contained spilt food which was frozen in place, indicating that these appliances had not been cleaned for some time.
" food was left or placed in such a manner that it was liable to become dirty or contaminated. Frozen fish fillets were being thawed on dirty grey rags on top of the bench.
" failure to supervise workers to prevent a breach of the Regulations, namely the requirement to keep hands clean when preparing and handling food. A staff member was observed sneezing into his hands, wiping them on his apron then continuing with the preparation of chicken, without first washing his hands. Other staff were observed throughout the time of the inspection handling a variety of perishable foodstuffs without washing their hands between tasks.
" failure to keep tea towels and dish cloths clean. The tea towels and cleaning rags in the premises were tattered and grey with dirt. Some omitted an offensive odour indicating they had not been cleaned in some time.
Environmental Health Team Leader Ian Milnes is satisfied with the successful prosecution but is disappointed that Council had to resort to legal action to gain compliance with the regulations.
Mr Milnes says, "Council will continue taking a hard line on all food premises that put the public at risk. It's compulsory for all food premises in Manukau to display a Food Grading Certificate. If there is not one displayed then the public need to ask why and request to see the current certificate." Council will now take the necessary steps to determine if the Certificate of Registration for the Daikoku Restaurant at Botany Town Centre will be revoked.