“Name and Shame” register clocks up a century

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 2nd September 2008

In only eight weeks the NSW ‘name and shame’ website for food law breaches has reached the 100 mark, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald reported on Sunday.

There are now 101 food outlets in 31 NSW council areas listed on the Food Authority website with a total of 163 offences. “Twenty-eight new offences have just gone up on the name and shame website, including a café in the Blue Mountains that was fined $330 for permitting an animal in the food handling area,” Mr Macdonald said. “Other outlets named include a Castle Hill farmer’s market stall holder fined $1,650 for four breaches of food laws, an Indian restaurant in the Auburn area fined $660 for failing to maintain a clean food premises (vermin droppings) and a restaurant in Pott’s Point fined $330 for failing to maintain a clean premises.”

“So far, the website has the details of 132 offences in councils in the Greater Sydney area and 31 infringements in regional or rural NSW council areas,” Mr Macdonald added. “The most number of food outlets to appear on the website are in the Penrith City Council area with 15, Sydney City Council with 11 and Fairfield with 8.”

“New laws introduced earlier this year give clearer powers to councils in enforcing food laws and I am pleased to see local government is embracing these new responsibilities.”

Other examples of some infringements to go on the website to date are:

* A charcoal chicken takeaway in Avalon fined $660 for two breaches of failing to maintain shop fixtures and fittings in clean condition;
* A Blackheath café fined $330 for allowing a live animal in a food preparation or service area;
* 12 restaurants and takeaways in the Penrith area fined various amounts for a range of offences from cockroach infestations to permitting live animals in food preparation areas; and
* Four multinational fast-food restaurants for pest infestation and hygiene breaches.

“Information published on the new website is about providing choice to the people of NSW and giving an added incentive to businesses to do the right thing,” Mr Macdonald claimed. “The website shame register is an important step in helping stamp out poor food practices and protecting consumers in NSW. There have been almost 75,000 visitors to the website to date, which is an early positive sign that it is providing valuable information to the community.”

Minister Macdonald said penalty notices are only issued to businesses who have not acted on earlier warnings to rectify faults or for more serious offences that could potentially place consumers’ health at risk. “The vast majority of businesses do the right thing, but it’s the very small minority that are cutting corners who will be caught and named,” he advised.

Details of companies on the register can be found at: www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/penalty%2Dnotices/.