Food Borne illness can be prevented by following the golden rules as set out by the NSW Food Authority, hands can easily spread harmful bacteria to food, work surfaces and equipment.
Did you know that there are over 4 million cases of food poisoning in Australia every year and that poor personal hygiene has been identified as one of the most common causes? Proper hand washing at the right times helps to prevent bacteria spreading to food and is one of the most important and easiest ways to prevent illness.
Click here to view hand washing guidelines published by the 'NSW Food Authority'.
Source: Barf Blog, Doug Powell Oct 10, 2014
The owner of a family-owned business identified as the source of a salmonella bacteria outbreak says he has avoided a “nightmare” by having the correct food safety procedures in place.
Max Schofield is the founder of Fresh Fodder, which employs 20 people and manufactures dips, sauces and salads in the regional New South Wales town of Orange. Its products are stocked by independent retailers across the country, including IGA Supermarkets, fruit shops and delicatessens.
A recall was issued on Monday for a batch of Fresh Fodder’s Blue Cheese and Pistachio Dip, with a best before date of November 11, which was found to have been contaminated by salmonella.
The affected dips were available for sale in NSW, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
But Schofield told SmartCompany this morning the contamination was identified in-house by Fresh Fodder and no one has fallen ill from eating the products.
The batch included 830 tubs of dip, 392 of which had been distributed before Fresh Fodder’s definitive testing results confirmed the presence of salmonella.
Schofield says Fresh Fodder received a presumptive notice on Friday of the presence of salmonella and acted quickly to issue an informal recall of the products from supermarket shelves. The swift action meant all but 18 packets of the dips were isolated within 24 hours.
“If we didn’t have the right procedures in place it would have been a nightmare,” admits Schofield.
“We had brought in a food safety consultant 18 months ago to get our systems up to a higher standard … Before that our systems were not as in depth so if something like this happened it would have been much worse.”
Being able to isolate the contaminated products early also meant the food safety authority agreed to allow Fresh Fodder to issue in-store notices for the individual retailers which received the products, instead of forcing the company to advertise the recall nationally.
The NSW Food Authority posted in their register of offences a prosecution with 4 offences that resulted in the the owner of La Casa Italian Restaurant acquiring almost a $12,000 bill.
The defendant breached the Food Act 2003 and the Food Safety Standard 3.2.2 including,
Failure to maintain a standard of cleanliness in the food prep areas, cool-room, store-room, fixtures, fittings, cooking equipment with an accumulation of grease and food matter sited.
The owner failed to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor, in addition to failure to comply with prohibition orders on four counts.
The cost of the fines and legal fees far out way the costs to which he could have prevented them.
Total penalty: $ 8730
Professional costs: $ 2000
Court costs: $1050
The defendant should have adequately prepared the business with a
Food Safety Plan available from $440 annually.
A Food Safety Supervisor can be trained and appointed within a day from $115.
Amy Bainbridge, ABC News Fri Aug 1, 2014
Diners on the Gold Coast and in Cairns could be eating at restaurants repeatedly fined for breaching health standards but wouldn’t know because their councils refuse to reveal who they are.
In Cairns, three restaurants have even been shut down temporarily by the courts to bring them back up to scratch.
Top restaurateurs and food safety advocates say consumers deserve to know which eateries have been caught out so they can make informed choices about where they eat.
Gold Coast City Council confirmed it had prosecuted five eateries in 2013-14, with an average fine of $17,500, while another 98 were given a $550 on-the-spot fine.
While a council spokeswoman admitted there was a matter of public interest in naming restaurants that regularly breached health safety rules, the council still would not reveal any names.
“While it may be in the public interest for the media to report on noncompliant premises at the time of prosecution, City of Gold Coast does not wish to name and shame premises that have been prosecuted in the past and may be now fully compliant,” she said.
Despite this, she said those taken to court had usually displayed a pattern of not following the rules.
A Cairns Council spokeswoman said it was not the council’s policy to reveal the names of restaurants that had been prosecuted.
But she said three had been shut down temporarily because of poor hygiene, while another eight had been issued fines.
Other councils such as Townsville were willing to reveal eateries that violated health standards.
The Chilli Jam Noodle Bar in Townsville was fined $5000 on April 24 for handling food in a way that made it unsuitable for sale – the only prosecution in the 2013-14 financial year.
Since the successful EatSafe program was introduced by Brisbane City Council, it has spread to others including Logan and Bundaberg that have adopted similar programs.
Restaurant 2 owner David Pugh, who helped set up Brisbane’s EatSafe program, said it was important to name repeat offenders.
“It needs to be published,” he said. “If it’s good enough for Brisbane it’s good enough for cities and towns in the rest of Australia. People need to be informed about who is looking after the best interests of their clients.”
Mr Pugh said publishing breaches put pressure on eateries to maintain standards.
Food Safety Information Council boss Juliana Madden said there was no reason not to name restaurants that had been successfully prosecuted for breaches.
Queensland Health Health Protection Unit boss Sophie Dwyer said food safety rating schemes were a matter for local governments.
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Top franchises and well-known restaurants were among the eateries slapped with a whopping total of $600,000 in fines for dodgy hygiene and health practices during the 2013-14 financial year.
The revelations follow the DM jazz cafe being fined $25,000 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this week after a customer found a live cockroach in the chicken and mushroom risotto.
Food safety inspectors slapped more than 30 restaurants and cafes with fines as part of the city council’s EatSafe program in a bid to clean up the industry.
Franchises including Sumo Salad and Shingle Inn, as well as popular restaurants such as the Landmark Restaurant at Sunnybank and Beach House Bar and Grill in the CBD were among those punished for breaches.
Landmark Restaurant manager Henry Leung said its $25,000 fine for uncovered and improperly stored food occurred two years ago on a busy Saturday night, but they since had cleaned up their act and passed three more inspections.
The Beach House was fined $30,000 in December after rat droppings were found in the deep fryer, as well as accumulated grease on the floor and wall surfaces in the kitchen.
The Gap Tavern, owned by the ALH Group, was fined $28,000 for cleanliness issues including having live cockroaches in November 2013.
ALH Group spokesman said the organisation took food safety very seriously and had already taken steps to address the issues raised by the council.
Brisbane Lifestyle Chairman Cr Krista Adams said the council made no apologies for carrying out rigorous inspections and they responded to every complaint.
“People can be more confident than ever with 91.5 per cent of Brisbane restaurants now ‘stepping up to the plate’ with a rating of three stars or above,” she said.
“This transparent approach to auditing along with the financial impost on businesses, act as an effective significant deterrent to reoffend, and so we see businesses really clean up their act.”
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There's been a sickening spike in the number of Australians being struck-down by food poisoning, with an 80% jump in cases in the past decade. Watch the report from TEN News
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WorkSafe reported on 6 February 2013, an employee of Cantire Foods Pty Ltd was injured whilst cleaning an unguarded Stephan 400 mixing machine. The injured employee broke three bones in the top of his hand and required surgery to the broken bones, which had to be secured by plates and pins. The surgery also included repair of his index and middle fingers which were partially severed.
On 26 March 2014, the accused pleaded guilty to one charge pursuant to sections 21(1) and 21(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 for failing to provide or maintain plant that was, so far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health. Cantire Foods Pty Ltd, was sentenced to pay a fine of $50,000 without conviction and costs in the sum of $3,245. (Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court).
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