04 Mar 2020

Brisbane suburbs with most food safety complaints revealed

Hundreds of complaints about cleanliness and unsafe food were made about Brisbane restaurants last year with new data revealing the suburbs with the most accusations.

Brisbane City Council received 833 complaints relating to food safety in 2019 – 479 about food premises and 354 about unsafe food and infection.

Brisbane's CBD was the worst area across the city for food safety violations followed by Fortitude Valley, according to new council data.

The next worst-performing were Upper Mount Gravatt and Sunnybank on the southside, each with about 30 complaints.

Restaurants in South Brisbane, including South Bank and West End, also had questionable food standards, with council receiving about three complaints each month for that area.

A council spokeswoman said there were 53 successful prosecutions last financial year with the single biggest fine handed out to a Fortitude Valley eatery, which was slapped with a $215,000 for 20 offences.

"Brisbane City Council takes food safety very seriously and works hard to ensure food businesses meet strict food safety standards," she said.

"Any complaint made to council about food safety is followed up with an on-site inspection and food businesses are not allowed to continue operating if they present a health risk to the public.

Last January, a St Lucia restaurateur was fined more than $20,000 after pleading guilty to racially abusing a health inspector who found a "cockroach infestation" in his business.

The health inspector found a "large number" of live and dead cockroaches and cockroach faeces in the Indian restaurant's kitchen.

An investigation by this masthead showed Grill’d had long-standing food safety and cleanliness issues in some of its restaurants in Queensland.

Last year council sliced its food safety inspections down by 30 per cent, from 7003 in 2017-18 down to 4900 the following year.

The council spokeswoman said the drop was so dramatic because council had scored funds to run extra inspections ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

"This funding meant food businesses were inspected more frequently to ensure high standards of food safety were upheld in the lead up to the games," she said.

"Anyone with concerns about the standard of food handling or storage at a Brisbane restaurant, café or food truck is encouraged to report this to council so it can be investigated."

SOURCE ; https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/brisbane-suburbs-with-most-food-safety-complaints-revealed-20200213-p540km.html

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