Bakery Owner Slams 'Ridiculous' Food Safety Fines

The owner of a NSW bakery has claimed he was issued an $880 fine for not having enough paper towels on premises.
March 4, 2016

The owner of a NSW bakery has claimed he was issued an $880 fine for not having enough paper towels on premises.
However, the local council’s health department doesn’t agree.

Matthew Carr is the owner of Budgewoi’s Corner Bakery and Cafe, which was listed on the state’s name and shame register after being fined $1760 last year for not complying with food safety laws.

According to Carr, the fines are ‘ridiculous’ and so was being added to the name and shame list for things which he considers trivial.

“What the list didn’t say is that one $880 fine — which was issued on the spot by the Wyong Council health ­inspector with no warning — was just for not having enough paper towels in one of the dispensers,” he said.

Council Denies Issuing Fines Over Paper Towel

A spokeswoman for Wyong Shire Council explained that fines were not issued lightly and only when a business breaches the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

“Council would never issue a fine simply due to lack of paper towels. Fines are only served where there are a number of breaches of the Code are identified that have the potential to compromise the quality of food offered for sale,” the spokeswoman said.

“Council officers take the responsibility to protect public health as an important part of their role and only serve penalties where it is necessary to ensure standards are maintained and protect the community.”

Bakery Received Warning Initially

Health inspectors first visited the bakery early last year and provided Carr with a list of food safety issues that needed to be fixed. Carr told the Daily Telegraph that he ‘bent over backwards’ making the changes, one of which was spending $12,000 and hiring a cleaner.

It wasn’t until another inspector returned four months later that the business was issued fines for failing to “maintain the food premises and all fixtures, fittings and equipment to required standard of cleanliness”.

“What this guy found was insignificant — silly things like paper towels,” was Carr’s response to this.

“I think it is obviously just revenue-raising for Wyong Council and these people are being sent to nail businesses left, right and centre.”

Wyong Council, however, says its aim is to ensure that those who purchase food, receive food that is safe to eat.