AN INDIAN restaurant in Canning Vale has defended its conviction for breaching food regulations after being fined more than $10,000 over the handling of pet meat.
The Department of Health published a notice of the conviction online today, saying that Kopikaran Krishnasamy and Kalaiamutham Pty Ltd, trading as Cafe Marica, had been convicted for breaching the food act back in February.
The business was fined $12,000 in total with an additional $1382.30 in costs for failing to prevent pet meat being handled in a premises in which food was sold.
However a spokesman for the business said the incident came down to a mistake due to a lack of understanding of English.
“We usually buy our lamb from reputable buyers such as Woolworths or Coles,” he said.
“A customer came in and recommended another producer to our chef, who doesn’t speak English very well.”
The spokesman said the fresh lamb was packaged in a bag that was labelled ‘pet meat’, however the chef was unable to read the label.
He returned to the business and started to prepare the lamb for cooking when the City of Gosnells officers arrived to inspect the business.
“It was never served to a customer,” he said.
“We were lucky that the City of Gosnells came in the same day we purchased the meat.”
The spokesman said it was not actually pet meat in the bag, but the person they had bought it from put it in a pet meat bag to avoid tighter regulations.
“We want to do the right thing and move forward as a business,” he said.