The City of Sydney continues to take strong action against food premises that pose a threat to public health and fail to comply with food safety standards.
In the Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday, Thi Minh Nguyet Vo was sentenced for six breaches of the Food Act relating to the Hong Hai Noodle Bar in the Hunter Connection Food Court.
The hearing follows five other unsafe food premise prosecutions in the first half of this year for a total of 25 offences relating to failures to comply with the Food Act.
“We are working with restaurants, cafes and food services to make sure Sydney maintains its strong reputation for world class dining and food safety,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“When a food premise puts public health at risk, the City takes action by issuing penalty notices and pursuing legal action.
“At the same time, the City’s health officers work closely with food operators to provide information and advice on safe food practices and ensure Sydneysiders and visitors can have confidence in the food they eat out.”
Since January 2017, the City has undertaken six Food Act prosecutions in the local court, resulting in fines worth a total of $58,600.
- The City commenced proceedings against Thi Minh Nguyet Vo for six breaches of the Food Act relating to restaurant Hong Hai Noodle Bar in the Hunter Connection Food Court. Charges related to unclean premises, failure to prevent the entry of pests, unsafe food storage practices and the sale of unsafe food. The owner was fined a total of $22,500 and ordered to pay professional legal costs of $2,356. Ms Vo was also ordered by the Court to place notices within 28 days (at her own expense) in two specified newspapers detailing these offences and the penalties imposed. It was not the first time the owner had been prosecuted. In 2009 and 2010, Thi Minh Nguyet Vo was prosecuted for 21 breaches of the Food Act, with fines totalling $28,000.
- The City commenced four proceedings in the Local Court against Mr Ajay Raj for breaches of the Food Standards Code at Redfern restaurant Maya Da Dhaba. The breaches were in relation to issues with failing to properly store and process food, as well as the failure to maintain the food premises and fixtures, fittings and equipment to a standard of cleanliness. Mr Raj entered pleas of guilty to all four matters and was convicted, fined a total of $10,000 as well as ordered to pay $1,390.40 in professional costs. The premise had an extensive history of non-compliance, dating back to 2012, including several penalty notices and improvement notices.
- Mr Han Qing Zhao from Froth Expresso in Potts Point was prosecuted for four breaches to the Food Act, including unclean premises, failing to prevent the entry of pests and unsafe food storage practices. Mr Zhao had previously received five penalty notices by the City for similar offences. Mr Zhao pleaded guilty to all charges and was fined a total of $8,000 and ordered to pay the City’s professional legal costs of $1,300.
- The City commenced proceedings against Rize International Pty Ltd for a number of breaches of the Food Act relating to the restaurant Jap’s Table in Darlington. The restaurant faced five charges, including failure to keep the premises clean and failure to display sushi under temperature control. Rize International pleaded guilty to the charges and the Court imposed penalties totalling $5,500 and professional legal costs of $1,710.
- MYT Group Pty Ltd was prosecuted for three breaches of the Food Act relating to Saigon Queen restaurant in Darlinghurst. The breaches related to uncleanliness and failure to prevent the entry of pests. Guilty pleas were entered to the charges and the Court imposed penalties totalling $9,600 and professional legal costs of $1,500.
- The City commenced three proceedings in the Local Court against Chinese Noodle Bar Pty Ltd for breaches of the Food Standards Code at Chinese Noodle Bar at 800 George St, Haymarket. The breaches relate to issues with failing to properly store food and the failure to maintain food premises and fixtures, fittings and equipment to a standard of cleanliness. The Court imposed fines totalling $3,000.
The City of Sydney continues to promote the state-wide Scores on Doors program, which is jointly implemented with the NSW Food Authority. There are currently 2,353 premises in the local government area involved in the Scores on Doors program, and 1,739 of them have a four or five star rating.
Over the past two years, the number of businesses involved in the program has increased by around 600 and the number of premises receiving a four or five star rating has increased by approximately 570.
The City has also recorded a significant decrease in the number of cases of food borne illness, with a 30 per cent decrease in the incidences of salmonella related food borne illness state wide.
“The work of our environmental health officers in educating and training food businesses on the safe preparation of food has been crucial in reducing the number of food borne illnesses,” the Lord Mayor said.
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