Vermin cause costly problems for eatery

A RESTAURANT with a major vermin issue failed to respond to repeated council requests to fix the problem, according to the City of Greater Bendigo.

The director of Malaysian restaurant Sabah House pleaded guilty to 25 food safety breaches before a Magistrate on Tuesday.

Council planning and development director Prue Mansfield said the council had repeatedly visited the premises over food safety issues over about 12 months.

She said the risk of diners becoming sick was high.

“There were a whole range of issues related to food handling, food storage, how food is processed, the cleanliness of the premises and the structural integrity of things like sinks,” Ms Mansfield said.

“Any restaurant that doesn’t manage its food storages and waste has problems with vermin.

“That’s a very important part of the business they need to stay on top of.”

They proprietor of the restaurant was fined $30,000 with a further $5956 in costs with the company director fined $10,000 plus costs.

The eatery is located below the Indian Tavern Tandoori Restaurant, which was prosecuted for having a pest infestation, rodent droppings and a dead rat in its kitchen in July.

A hotel was also temporarily closed in 2012 and fined in June this year due to “serious health and safety concerns”.

Sabah House management did not return calls Wednesday.

Ms Mansfield said the council worked with 1000 premises that served food in Bendigo.

“Three cases out of 1000 you would think was good, not too many,” she said.

“But our desire would be to have none because people were doing what they were meant to.

“We take very seriously our responsibility that food sold in our city is safe for people to eat.

“Our sign of success would be no prosecutions.” 

Ms Mansfield said Sabah House management had been given several chances to fix the venue. 

"They didn't do that good enough or fast enough over a number of months," she said. 

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