Rat droppings in kitchen: Thai restaurant fined
A LONG-running Brisbane Thai restaurant that was found to have rat droppings in its kitchen and food storage area almost two years ago has been fined $20,000.
A Brisbane City Council inspection of Pan Thai Restaurant, within Camp Hill Bowls Club, on August 7, 2018, found significant evidence of rodent activity, a court heard.
Lawyer Anna Swindley, for Brisbane City Council, told Brisbane Magistrates Court a food safety audit uncovered evidence of rodents around rice stored in open bags.
Ms Swindley said rodent droppings were found in various places in the restaurant's kitchen and food storage area, on floors and shelves, and one cockroach egg was found on a utensil.
Garlic and onions were left uncovered and some food was stored in open barrels, the court heard.
Pan Thai's sole director, Ms Amonpan Sirattanapusitakon, who has had the food business licence since 2009, pleaded guilty to 11 Food Act breaches.
The court heard the restaurant, which has operated since 2008, mostly had a three star council rating, achieving a four star rating in 2014, allowing it then to self audit.
It had an excellent record for complying with food safety and cleanliness standards, passing nine audits, apart from a sighting of rodent activity in 2010, Ms Swindley said.
The court was told the restaurant was in an open area inside Camp Hill Bowls Club and there were a large number of entry points.
In 2010 and after the 2018 audit the restaurant only had to be shut down for two days, to rectify the problems.
The barrister for the restaurant director said it was good to see a restaurant like Pan Thai, which employs eight people, continuing to operate for 12 years.
He pointed out that many restaurants were closing down, as a result of Coronavirus.
Pan Thai was well respected within the Camp Hill community, yet it did not make a lot of money, the court was told.
Magistrate Rosemary Gilbert took into account the guilty pleas, the restaurant's longevity and previous excellent compliance record and the rapid rectification of the problems.
Ms Gilbert said the presence of rat droppings in 2018 indicated there had been a problem with pests and how they were dealt with.
She said the public expected food to be prepared and served in an appropriate and hygienic manner.
Ms Gilbert fined Pan Thai $20,000 and ordered the director to pay Brisbane City Council's costs, totalling $606.