Restaurant fined $85,000 for food safety breaches

Esther Han

 A Crows Nest restaurant serving Indian and Pakistani cuisine has been fined $85,000 – one of the biggest penalties against food outlets in recent years – after being found guilty of 15 food safety breaches by a local court.

Bundu Khan was listed today on the NSW Food Authority's public register of prosecutions, which names and shames restaurants that have committed some of the worst offences.

In May last year, North Sydney Council food safety inspectors discovered a cockroach population in the restaurant's unsanitary kitchen areas. They found staff had no access to hot water and were washing equipment in only cold water.

"There was [also] a build up of food waste, grease and grime on the shelving, walls and floors," court documents show. "The business was found . . . to be using broken food storage containers, heat-affected chopping boards and damaged fridges."

Manager Kamil Khan said the problems were linked to the location of the restaurant.

"We are in the basement level of a very old building. It is a 60 to 70-year-old building," he said. "We had construction and maintenance problems."

He said the restaurant's food preparation and seating areas had been given an overhaul.

"We have refurbished everything, spending more than $40,000," he said.

Pest exterminators now visit the restaurant every six weeks, up from every three months.

North Sydney Council issued five penalty notices against Bundu Khan operators in 2010. No penalties have been issued against the Harris Park branch.

On the current register of 39 prosecutions, only two food businesses – GMI Food Wholesalers in Wollongong and Peter Hot Bread in Rooty Hill – have been slugged with fines greater than $85,000. Prosecutions are published for two years on the register following any appeal period.