Bill of shame: trendy eatery outed for safety breach

 

Matthew Moore Freedom of Information Editor
August 7, 2008

 

Source of Article: http://www.smh.com.au/news/arts/bill-of-shame-trendy-eatery-outed-for-safety-breach/2008/08/06/1217702141346.html

 

BILLS, the trendy Darlinghurst eatery that helped make ricotta hotcakes an inner-city breakfast staple, has become the first upmarket Sydney establishment named on the State Government's list of restaurants fined for breaching food safety laws.

The Liverpool Street restaurant, one of three Sydney eateries owned by the celebrity chef Bill Granger, has been fined $660 for failing to comply with the food safety code.

Just two days after the NSW Food Authority began publishing a register on its website of restaurants caught breaching food laws, a City of Sydney inspector fined Bills for failing to have a thermometer in its refrigerator.

Last night, Bills said in a statement it was "shocked at this isolated incident and we took care of it immediately".

"We do everything we can to do the right thing by our customers and to empower our workers to also do the right thing."

While the offence may cause some embarrassment to Granger - who makes TV cookery programs, has sold more than 700,000 cookbooks and has just opened a restaurant in Japan - he is in good company. Heston Blumenthal's restaurant The Fat Duck, in Berkshire, England, had just been voted the best in the world by Restaurant magazine in 2005 when inspectors tested the ballotine of foie gras, the braised belly of pork and the tarte tatin and found "unsatisfactory" levels of "enterobacteriacea and aerobic colony counts".

Governments in Europe and North America are increasingly publishing details of food businesses fined for breaching safety laws in an attempt to improve restaurant hygiene standards.

After a campaign by the Herald, the NSW Government this year passed legislation to establish the register, becoming the only state to reveal details of fines imposed on food businesses.

It publishes the names only of those it considers likely or very likely to "result in production of unsafe, unsuitable or inaccurately labelled food".

More than 50 food businesses have been named since the register started up on May 2. They will remain on the list for 12 months.

Bills said the online disclosure was "fair enough".

"It's good to remind everyone, including all those working in hospitality and others at home in their kitchens, to be vigilant."

 

 

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