Cockroaches lurk under potato and gravy at QLD KFC

COCKROACHES lurking under the gravy and mash potato bain-marie ... a build-up of food waste on the floor.

These were some of the foul hygiene breaches a Brisbane City Council health inspector exposed at the KFC store in Chermside shopping centre's food court in March 2015.

Fast food restaurant operator Collins Restaurants Management was slapped with a $45,000 fine in the Brisbane Magistrates Court earlier this month after pleading guilty to six breaches of food health laws.

According to court documents, an audit on March 4, 2015, uncovered live cockroaches in locations around the kitchen including on the surface under the preparation bench, and beneath the wall capping next to the crumbing station.

The council officer found a live cockroach found on the door handle of the freezer that stored the chips, as well as 30 to 40 live critters under the gravy and mash potato bain-marie.

Other violations included no warm running water at the only hand-wash basin in the premises and a build-up of food waste on the floor.

Council prosecutor Mark Thomas said there was substantial cockroach activity in a number of places, and council was seeking a $55,000 fine against CRM, which had no prior convictions.

Ralph Devlin, QC, for CRM, said the open nature of food courts posed unique issues for food retailers because pest control could drive insects from one spot to another.

He said the company had taken swift action and closed the store following the discovery, threw out stock, stripped and cleaned equipment, and enlisted pest control to "mist" the area.

"The defendant took its responsibility very, very seriously," he said, adding it had an active pest eradication program.

Acting Magistrate Robert Walker handed down a $45,000 fine and decided not to record a conviction against the company.


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