This Article is From Sep 04, 2012

Indian restaurant in Oz fined for rats

Melbourne: An Indian takeaway restaurant in Sydney has been slapped with a fine of over 97000 Australian dollar after health authorities found cockroaches, accumulated grime and dead rats in its kitchen area.

The former owners of the King Cross-based restaurant, RR Associates, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of failing to comply with the Food Standards Code between December 7 and December 21 in 2011.

They were fined a total of 97,500 Australian dollar, according to ABC news report.

The report said that when health inspectors went to the restaurant after a customer complaint they found rat droppings in the service area and cupboards, a dead rat behind a bin andevidence of rat nests.

Council officers told the Downing Centre Local court that some of the rat faeces were on the floor of the kitchen, in the service area and storage cupboards.

The court heard the walls, floors and food contact surfaces were crawling with cockroaches. Council officers said samosas waiting to be cooked were stored directly below shelving encrusted with dirt and the kitchen was infested with cockroaches.

The restaurant has changed owners since the time of the offences.

The City of Sydney Council asked a magistrate to hand down a strong penalty that would deter other food business owners who put public health at risk.

"The defendant has consistently failed to adopt acceptable standards of cleanliness and hygiene within the food business and has displayed a complete disregard for the laws relating to such premises and a lack of accountability for its actions," the council told the court.

"The defendant has placed members of the public at a greater risk of injury, illness, serious disease or death purely for commercial gain."

In sentencing, Magistrate Gail Madgwick said she was imposing fines of 7,500 dollars for each of the 13 offences to ensure that Council standards were complied with and to provide a suitable deterrent against non-compliance to other food businesses.