Brisbane City Council has named the city’s worst offenders when it comes to food safety, with one particular venue – Beijing House –  penalised $42,000 for hygiene related offences.

The Council has now been running its Eat Safe inspection and enforcement program for five years with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk stating that the initiative has given diners greater confidence in the city’s foodservice sector.

Under the program, all food businesses are audited by an authorised Brisbane City Council Officer and receive an Eat Safe food safety star rating from 0-5 stars with a five star rating being the highest rank. Cr Quirk said that many of the audits in 2015 were conducted in response to customer feedback and complaints.

"We now have over 1100 food businesses with a five-star rating and over 90 per cent compliance  with state government food safety regulations, which compares to just 44 per cent compliance  before the program began," Cr Quirk told The Brisbane Times.

"Council continues to have a zero tolerance policy for food businesses that do not have safe food practices and immediately suspend operations until major safety issues are rectified."

In addition to Beijing House, other venues that received significant fines included:

  • Ahmet’s Licenced Turkish Restaurant in South Brisbane which received a $25,000 fine for the sale of unsuitable food, handling of unsuitable food, cleanliness, maintenance and animals and pests. 
  • AJ Vietnamese Noodle House Brisbane which was fined $24,000 for handling food in a way that made the food unsuitable, selling unsuitable food, cleanliness, maintenance and animals and pests.
  • Amici’s Restaurant in South Brisbane which was fined $20,000 for food storage, food processing, cleanliness, cleaning and sanitising of specific equipment, animals and pests and failing to provide adequate space for activities to be conducted on the food business.

According to Cr Quirk, 1,782 fines have been issued during the life of the Eat Safe program, resulting in 131 prosecutions and 60 cancellations of licenses. In 2015, 1,198 inspections were conducted resulting in the issue of 440 fines with 28 successful prosecutions and fines totaling $622,500.

Cr Quirk added that the council is committed to working with businesses through education and online training to bring their businesses up to compliance standards. 


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