They take food pretty seriously in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. So seriously, the NSW government has its' own Food Authority website where the Authority's scientists monitor and evaluate foods and processes to help develop standards and regulations that are eventually passed on to the industry and consumers alike. The Authority even posts the names of specific businesses that commit violations or fail to meet standards on a public list the organization openly, but unofficially, calls the "NSW Food Authority's Name and Shame Register."
Although the Authority's Register of Offences is usually marked by small, single location restaurants that fail to wash dishes correctly or leave food out too long, it was not without a bit of surprise when the second largest U.S. chain pizza franchise, Domino's, made the Name and Shame list down under this month. Not only did the Domino's store in Quakers Hill make the list, they made a bit of history for the number of violations found and the amount of cash they have been fined in what NSW Food Act, Primary Industries Minister, Steve Whan said was "One of the worst examples of food safety and hygiene breaches that we've seen in this state."
Ultimately, the pizza store in Quakers Hill was fined $116,000 for 18 breaches of the NSW Food Act after reports came from customers of becoming ill after eating there. The Authority found that the store and its director were guilty of a sustained and ongoing disregard for the cleanliness, maintenance and control of pests of the premises. Minister Whan said "Despite numerous warnings, the Quakers Hill store failed to rectify what can only be described as appalling conditions in the store, where floors were built up with food waste, dirt, grease and other decomposing matter and drains were found to be in a putrid state and blocked with rotting food."
The Chief Scientist at the Food Authority added that the extent of the cockroach activity and the accumulation of food debris and grime in the store "Not only served as indicators of poor sanitary conditions, but increased the risk of final product contamination by pathogenic microorganisms that increase the risk of food borne illness." If that sounds pretty serious, it is because the Food Authority views food safety and hygiene in NSW as a very important matter. It is also not very good press to find your store on the Name and Shame list where all your violations are posted in gory detail for the world and your competitors to read. Judging from the hefty fines but lacking a crystal ball, we would have to hazard a guess that after this recent turn of events, the Quaker Hill Domino's store will not appear on the Food Authority's Register of Offences twice.