Categorized | Rockingham

Cinnamon Club boss zapped $50,000

CHRIS THOMSON

The owner of the upmarket Cinnamon Club restaurants says he will appeal a $50,000 penalty for health breaches at his Real Flavour of India eatery in Rockingham.

Sushil Kumar will have to pay $49,143.40 after his restaurant at Safety Bay Road in Shoalwater was convicted of 17 health offences that occurred between August 2008 and February this year.

Mr Kumar also owns the popular Cinnamon Club restaurants in Leederville and Applecross and Real Flavour of India in East Victoria Park.

Alleged breaches included cockroaches and flies found in the restaurant, unclean appliances and failure to protect food from contamination.

SIGNIFICANT RISK

A City of Rockingham report of April 13 this year alleged that Mr Kumar’s restaurant was in a “very poor state of cleanliness” that “posed a significant risk of food-borne illness transmission”.

Health inspectors alleged the restaurant’s filthiness and state of disrepair had not improved since it was prosecuted following inspections in August 2008 and January 2009.

After an inspection in February 2010, it was alleged that cooked food was stored in uncovered crates that formerly held raw chicken and sat on the floor of a cool room.

The inspectors reported there were flies in the restaurant and the staff toilets had no soap or paper towels.

PAPPADUM BUCKET

Cooked food was allegedly stored in a cardboard box under a bench, and pappadums in a bucket on the floor.

Two containers of tandoori chicken allegedly stored at 37 degrees and 30 degrees celsius, and a vessel with raw fish allegedly found to be at 17 degrees, were deemed unfit for human consumption.

Another council report of September 23, 2008 alleged that an inspection that year had found cockroaches in the kitchen and under the freezer and benches.

GUARANTEE

Mr Kumar told oneperth.com.au he could “guarantee” that no health breaches would ever occur at his Cinnamon Club and East Victoria Park restaurants.

He said the financial penalty would not send him to the wall because his family “was making millions and millions of dollars” from his Perth restaurants and hotel interests in India.

However, he said he would meet with his lawyer on Monday to discuss an appeal as a “matter of principle”.

“This is a big fine, it is not a small fine,” he said of the October 20 conviction.

Mr Kumar added that in his career as chef and restaurateur he had opened 42 restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and never recorded a health breach before.

He said the allegations arose from a misunderstanding of hygiene practices traditionally implemented in cooking Indian food.

After the most recent inspection, council officers returned to find the Shoalwater restaurant had been cleaned to an acceptable standard.

CHEAPER THERE

Mr Kumar confirmed that structural improvements to the eatery had been made since the allegations and it was managed to the same standard as his other restaurants.

“It’s the same qualified chefs, the same quality foods, only it’s cheaper there,” he said.

Real Flavour of India is the third chain restaurant known to have fallen foul of authorities recently.

Earlier this month, Rockingham council health inspectors accused the McDonald’s outlet in Warnbro of serving a wrap containing raw chicken.

On September 15, Hungry Jack’s in Wanneroo was fined $2500 for selling a chicken burger that was not of the “nature, substance or quality” demanded by the customer.

Photo: Joăo Estęvăo A. de Freitas

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