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Brisbane City Council names and shames 58 venues over poor food safety, collects $622,500 in fines

January 19, 2016
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7088920-3x2-460x307Brisbane City Council has named and shamed a number of food venues that failed to comply with its EatSafe food safety guidelines last year.

Fifty-eight businesses, including bakeries, restaurants and fast food chains, were prosecuted and fined $622,500 last year.

The most expensive fine was issued to Delish Foods’ Piccalilli Catering, which was ordered to pay $50,000 for selling unsafe food while Beijing House, located in Brisbane, was fined $42,000 for a string of poor hygiene practices.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk praised the EatSafe program for its success over the past five years.

“We now have over 1,100 food businesses with a five-star rating and over 90 per cent compliance with State Government food safety regulations,” he said.

“Which compares to just 44 per cent compliance before the program began.

“Council continues to have a zero tolerance policy for food businesses that do not have safe food practices and immediately suspend operations until major safety issues are rectified.

“Over the past five years, EatSafe has seen 1,782 fines issued to offending businesses, 131 businesses prosecuted and 60 licences cancelled.

“More than 33,000 surprise audits have been conducted at food safety businesses since 2010, with businesses measured against the 44 criteria of the EatSafe program, to keep them accountable to Food Act 2006.”

The EatSafe program was implemented in 2010 in an effort to tighten the city’s food safety practices.

It is a rewards-based program that sees businesses awarded a star rating based on the results of regular council audits of the premises.

Council inspectors audit every licensed food business in Brisbane, with each receiving a star rating out of five based on compliance with legislative requirements and best practice across areas including cleanliness, food storage and handling and pest control.

Councillor Quirk said council officers carried out 1,198 inspections last year in response to feedback and complaints.

“Last year over 700 outlets received 0-2 star ratings and Council worked with them through education and online training, to bring their business up to compliance standards,” he said.

“In the same period, Council cancelled food licences on 15 occasions and issued 64 immediate suspensions to businesses in breach of food safety standards.”

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Published by ABC News