Food outlets face safety crackdown

Posted by Editorial on 27th May 2009

Every food outlet in the state of New South Wales can expect a random health inspection in the year ahead as the number of additions to the name and shame website causes concern for health authorities.

Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said 40,000 food service premises would be the subject of about 50,000 inspections a year.

“In practice, every food premises should be inspected at least once each year,” Mr Macdonald said.

“All food businesses in NSW are inspected according to their risk profile of low, medium or high,” he advised. “This guides the frequency of inspections based on the risks associated with the food, how it’s handled and the performance history of each business.”

Mr Macdonald added that the reach of the name and shame website had expanded, with seventeen food outlets from Lithgow to Taree seen as recent additions.

“Today’s list shows it’s not just restaurants in big metropolitan centres that can expect to be fined, named and shamed if they don’t do the right thing by their customers,” Mr Macdonald said today. “It is illegal and wrong for food businesses to take chances with people’s health by handling and storing food wrongly and letting pests into premises.”

“The public has a right to know who the offenders are, especially when the majority of restaurants and retailers do the right thing and put food safety at the top of their agendas,” he concluded.

From today, 1018 offences in 608 outlets in 57 council areas are listed on the Food Authority website.

Nineteen penalties in 17 outlets appear on the website this week, including:

* KFC in Victoria Street, Taree fined $660 for having an accumulation of dirt and grease in the shop.
* A noodle takeaway in Teramby Road, Nelson Bay received two fines for $330 each for having a dirty shop.
* An outlet in Great Western Highway, Marrangaroo (Lithgow) fined $330 for not maintaining a required standard of cleanliness.
* A noodle shop in Salamander Bay fined $660 for having evidence of cockroach activity in the shop.