If You Give A Rats About Sushi …

As a connoisseur of good sushi, I feel it is my duty to post this public warning. Steer clear of Sushi World!! Refer to today’s article from SMH Online below.

Matthew Moore, Freedom of Information Editor, SMH Online
May 30, 2007

THE pest inspector Bill Lincoln smelt the rats before he saw them when he visited the Sushi World’s factory in Camperdown to quote on fixing the rodent problem last year.

"It was horrific … the stench of rat urine was bad," he said of the premises the Herald revealed this week had been fined 11 times, and closed for a second time early this month, for breaching hygiene laws.

As Mr Lincoln walked through the premises in Larkin Street last year, he was stunned by what he found. "There were rats in the rice cases; there was shredded paper on the ground where they were making nests; there were droppings everywhere," he said.

Mr Lincoln said he had seen many food businesses with rat infestations but none as bad as the Larkin Street factory.

Details of the repeated hygiene breaches by one of Sydney’s biggest sushi suppliers came as the Government promised to end the secrecy that has prevented the public finding out about food businesses that have been fined for breaching food safety laws. After a year-long attempt by the Herald using freedom of information laws to get access to details of fines imposed on restaurants and businesses like Sushi World, the NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, promised to amend the Food Act within months to ensure fines will be made public.

"I am totally happy to do it. I would hope to have it finalised in the spring session of Parliament, " he told the Herald yesterday.

Mr Macdonald said he was committed to publishing inspection results in line with practice in other countries but said he had yet to decide what system to use.

A "short review" by the NSW Food Authority would consider displaying hygiene scores in restaurant windows, as happens in Los Angeles, or to put details on the internet, as happens in New York, the minister said.

The review would consider if restaurant owners should be able to add their own comments to reports about inspection results, as happens overseas.

The Government’s promise came as Mr Lincoln, who worked for Alliance First pest control company, detailed what he saw when he did his inspection.

"In the [sushi] preparation area I saw a food preparation glove that had been chewed out the night before. There were droppings on the benches.

"There was a storage cupboard on the wall and you could see the smearings on it where the rats jumped down. There was a dead rat caught halfway through a wall. He was quite fresh; I think probably three or four days old."

The Camperdown factory used to supply some businesses operating as Sushi World. Fourteen outlets – at Bondi Junction, Campsie, Castle Hill, Chatswood, Centrepoint Tower, Hurstville, Northbridge Plaza, Randwick Plaza, Sydney Airport and Warringah Mall – operate under a company called Sushi Nara Australia. A lawyer for Sushi Nara said the Camperdown factory had not supplied those businesses for the past 18 months.


4 responses to “If You Give A Rats About Sushi …

  1. I am glad i am picky with my Sushi!!!
    (I used to work with someone who used to tell me everytime they say me eating sushi that i was going to catch Hep A or something, got tired when i ate sushi basically everyday AND i knew the place i bought at was excellent)
    And Sushi Nara\’s sushi may be clean (i know they made the Castle Hill\’s onsite), but it is still crap!

  2. On a completely different topic – are we still on for Sunday?

  3. YES!!
    Is today too early for happy wishes??

  4. It is never too early!
    Now we need plans for Sunday? I was still thinking the Lindt Cafe in Cockle Bay – no food and the service sucks but the chocolate goodness.

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