Chinese, Indian or Thai? Would you like a cockroach with that?
Sydney’s well known for its ever-expanding Chinatown and ever-present Thai and Indian restaurants.
Less known is that these three cuisines are topping a list they don’t want to: the New South Wales Food Authority’s penalty register. This organization patrols the town and issues fines to dirty restaurants.
According to "The Daily Telegraph" in the last one and half years, Chinese restaurants have received a whopping 198 fines. In second place, Indian restaurants have received 99 fines. Thai restaurants come in third, issued with 87 fines.
Some restaurants received more than one fine, such as World BBQ City on George Street that had “cooked, ready-to-eat food stored on the floor in uncovered containers".
Kam Fook Seafood Restaurant in Bondi Junction has been convicted of seven offences and faces fines of up to $50,000. (Their worst offence was serving a customer a meal, flavored with a Sydney twist: a cockroach).
In the last year, six restaurants have been fined for having live animals in the kitchen, reports news.com.au
Sydney has a taste for green chicken curry, Mongolian lamb and butter chicken. But beware around the city: downtown is the area most likely to have breached food safety regulations.
Some specialists jumped to the defense of these three nationalities, pointing out that these are the most common restaurants in Sydney.
Food industry consultant, Rachel Williams, told the "Daily Telegraph": "A lot of them are family-run businesses, they're not franchises, and many of the people running them probably don't have English as a first language," she said.
She also said that Chinese, Indian and Thai dealt more frequently with high-risk foods such as seafood, tofu and lentils.
But while the plethora of these restaurants score the gold, silver and bronze in a medal-type they don’t particularly want, they’re not the only ones on the list.
In order, other cuisines included: Italian/pizzerias 83, Japanese 66 and Vietnamese, 24, followed by modern Australian, Korean, Lebanese, American, Turkish and Pakistani.
One plan currently on the drawing board would see restaurants advise customers of their safety breaches by displaying a sign.
Search the NSW Food Authority's register of penalty notices at www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au