Box Village Bakery fined $122k for food safety breaches
In addition to the fine, Box Village Bakery owners Thi Thu Ngo and Hung Son Le have been ordered to pay $7,199 in professional costs after they were convicted of ten breaches of the Food Act 2003.
There were 203 documented cases of food poisoning recorded, with symptoms of gastroenteritis including vomiting, diarrhoea and fever after consuming bakery items such as chicken rolls and salads that were linked back to the bakery.
One affected woman was reportedly forced to undergo an emergency caesarean and deliver her baby five weeks premature, after consuming food from the bakery and falling ill.
The business was ordered to close while the investigation was underway and was only permitted to reopen and trade after it had been thoroughly cleaned and fully compliant with food safety laws.
NSW Food Authority CEO Dr Lisa Szabo said food-borne diseases cost Australia $1.25 billion each year.
“There are currently approximately 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia every year, resulting in, on average, 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors each year,” she said.
Dr Szabo said to reduce the risk of Salmonella poisoning, particularly as summer temperatures rise, consumers and food retailers should look to use commercially produced products instead of handmade mayonnaise and sauces when preparing food.
“It is also much safer to use commercially pasteurised eggs rather than raw eggs in ready-to-eat products such as desserts and dressings,” she said.
“Businesses in NSW must comply with strict requirements around the use of raw eggs in foods. Retailers should remember that food laws in NSW prohibit the sale of eggs with dirty or cracked shells, which increase the risk of contamination, and should reject any eggs that are not intact.”