Sydney company fined for unsafe food production

28 October, 2013

Sydney food manufacturing company Sunrise Meats was convicted and sentenced in the Downing Centre Local Court last Friday (October 25) for various breaches of the Food Act 2003 relating to food safety and hygiene failures.

The Marrickville-based company, licensed under the NSW Food Authority to operate a meat processing business, pleaded guilty to 11 charges following a series of breaches of the hygiene regulations investigated by the NSW Food Authority that lead to the issuing of a prohibition order.

The charges were: hygiene, sanitation and cleanliness breaches (3 charges); contravene the provisions of the Food Safety Scheme (3 charges); fail to comply with the conditions of licence (3 charges); fail to comply with requirement imposed by a food safety scheme in relation to the preparation, implementation, maintenance, monitoring, certification or auditing of a food safety program (1 charge); contravene a Prohibition Order (1 charge).

The company was fined a total of $41,250 and ordered to pay professional costs of $10,000.

NSW Food Authority CEO Polly Bennett said the Authority was vigilant in carrying out its role to ensure food producers, manufacturers and retailers meet food safety standards and, where required to be licensed under a Food Safety Scheme, their licence obligations.

"The NSW Food Authority is dedicated to protecting the health of NSW consumers and ensuring the food produced and sold in this state is safe and suitable for human consumption," Bennett said.

"The important work that our officers do in regularly inspecting and auditing food businesses helps to improve food safety standards and reduce the incidence of foodborne illness."

The breaches included the failure to maintain fixtures, fittings and equipment to a standard required; handling food in a manner that failed to properly address the risk of contamination; where meat was stored on the floor near a drain on unclean benches and in contact with unclean wall tiles and a failure to have effective and continuous pest control.