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Is this Australia’s filthiest restaurant?
A popular dumpling restaurant in Melbourne’s east has been exposed as a filthy cesspit, and its owner fined $19,000 after live and dead cockroaches, drain flies, rodent faeces and filthy buildups of food waste, grease, oil and grime were found in the kitchen.
A Monash Council inspector made the discovery at the Raramen eatery in Glen Waverley, along with used drink bottles used to store sauces, meat sitting on a bench “for a couple of hours” and rice stored on the floor, plus wires and boxes that had been nibbled by rodents.
Astonishingly, the restaurant — which is still open for business — continued to be riddled with to insects and rodent poo on up to eight further council visits between March and July this year.
On July 10, Dumpling Hut Pty Ltd, the company which owns Raramen, and company director Siu Hin Yip pleaded guilty to 17 charges under the Food Act 1984 and the Food Standards Code. The charges related to inadequate pest control, unsuitable food handling, poor food storage and inadequate skills, among other issues.
Louisa Dicker, for Monash Council, told Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on July 10 that council officer Troy Schonknecht first visited the restaurant on March 3 for a routine inspection.
According to documents prepared for the court, Mr Schonknecht saw as many as 50 live cockroaches running through the noodle-making and front cooking area, grease, grime, oil and food waste behind cooking equipment and in the cool room and freezer, grease dripping from the stove canopies, encrusted dirt on the stove top, food waste in the microwave and dirty mops and cleaning equipment.
Mr Schonknecht also noted glue traps with peanuts as rodent bait and cockroach faeces in the cool room.
He met with the owner soon after to discuss the state of the restaurant, then returned for several further inspections until early July. Cockroaches, drain flies, dirty benches and cooking equipment were noted at many of the visits.
Magistrate Duncan Reynolds convicted and fined the company $12,000 and ordered it to pay $7000 in costs. He fined the company director, Siu Hin Yip, $5000 without conviction.
In a media release Monash Mayor Paul Klisaris said the severity of the fines sent a message to Monash businesses that they must maintain the highest standards.
“Monash has a well-deserved reputation as a destination for great food and we expect our businesses to respect that reputation by maintaining high standards when it comes to safety and cleanliness,” Cr Klisaris said.
He said the business has reviewed its processes and subsequent inspections have found it was complying with the regulations.
The owner Siu Hin Yip did not respond to Leader’s requests for comment.
Published by news.com.au, 30/07/2015