Rivervale: Continental Cafe Lunch Bar defends food safety convictions

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE owner of a Vietnamese-style lunch bar in Rivervale has defended the business after copping almost $20,000 in fines for food safety convictions.

Continental Cafe Lunch Bar on Great Eastern Highway in Rivervale was convicted of four breaches of the Food Act 2008.

The convictions related to failure to store food to protect it from contamination, failure to store potentially hazardous food under temperature control, not maintaining the premises to a standard or cleanliness and not maintaining equipment to a standard of cleanliness.

Owner Helen Nguyen said she and her husband had tried to keep up with demands from City of Belmont health inspectors but had found it difficult.

“We bought the business four years ago, but the shop was 25-years-old at the time,” she said.

“We have changed almost all of the equipment but each time they come in there is something new that they find.”

Mrs Nguyen said some of the recent convictions stemmed from a communication breakdown between the health inspectors and her staff, saying her staff members failed to notify her of written communication from the City of Belmont.

“I’m pregnant, and my husband and I work really, really hard,” she said.

“We try our best and everyone – especially our customers – have told us what a great job we’ve done with the place.”

Mrs Nguyen said the support from her customers had been very good.

The business was fined $17,000 and ordered to pay costs of $1800.

MORE: Kent St Deli owners talk of ‘upset and embarrassment’ over food convictions