Dead rats and toilet crabs ensure new additions to name and shame list

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 19th May 2009

A dead rat in the storage area of a Sydney restaurant joins a fish market which stored crabs in a toilet cubicle on the name and shame list in NSW.

The name and shame database, run by the NSW Food Authority, was introduced last year in a bid to improve food safety standards at food retail outlets by publicly ‘outing’ those who did the wrong thing. Since its introduction there have been 1000 fines dished out to almost 600 businesses.

Choy Restaurant in Sydney’s east was handed three fines worth a total $1980 for having a dead rodent in the storage area, unclean premises and vermin activity.

Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald was even more shocked by Jemes Fish Market in in the city’s inner west which was fined $660 for storing live crabs in a toilet cubicle. He said it was cases such as this one that highlighted the need for the website, with customers having the right to such important information.

“This is one of the most outrageous cases of food storage I have ever heard about,” he advised. “It is unhygienic and is just not fair on consumers who pay good money for their food.”

“The past 12 months has seen a number of disturbing breaches on the name-and-shame list, including cockroaches, rats, a band-aid, a cigarette butt and now this case.”

“Fined eateries appear on the website for 12 months and from this week we will see names starting to come off the list,” Minister Macdonald added.

“The vast majority of food outlets are doing the right thing and putting the public’s health first, but the message is clear to those who aren’t following the rules: you need to clean up your act or you’ll find yourself fined and shamed on the website.”

Other additions included Jesters in Sydney’s north, which was fined $1980 for having cockroaches and containers of raw foods encrusted with food waste.