Auckland's worst eateries score E

By Kieran Nash

Bono hung out at the E rated Crow Bar after one of his shows. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Bono hung out at the E rated Crow Bar after one of his shows. Photo / Steven McNicholl

One of Auckland's most famous nightclubs, a party spot for the rich and famous, has been given the city's worst food hygiene grade - 'E' for eeeww.

The Crow Bar on Wyndham St - where Bono from U2 hung out after one concert - is one of just 13 eateries to be awarded the worst possible grade.

All of the new Supercity's 8000 restaurants, cafes, bars, dairies and bakeries - anywhere you can buy food to eat - have a rating between A and E. Any worse, and the council bans them from trading.

Council inspectors have discovered huge cockroaches, liquid from raw meat dripping into salads, the stench of rats and mice, and more, at some city eateries.

Only a few of the worst-rated eateries were willing and available to explain why their ratings were so bad.

The Crow Bar, in Wyndham St, has been a popular late night destination for some of the most recognised faces on the local party circuit, like Nicky Watson.

The Herald on Sunday could not contact the owners for comment.

At Monument Dairy Shop in Otahuhu, manager Prashant Patel said his rating had expired and he was waiting for council inspectors to review it.

"The thing is, we changed owner. The previous owner had an E. Now it's clean and tidy."

He said the council had not inspected his property since he took over ownership. "We paid the fees and they still didn't come and check."

His certificate expired in August.

Snow Peas Thai and Fusion Restaurant, Panmure, manager Leo Ng said it wasn't the food hygiene which got the restaurant its grade.

"It's because we don't have a cover for a light. It's not about being dirty, it's about equipment."

Ng said the council inspectors were scheduled to return and, he claimed, would give the restaurant an A grade.

Council environmental health inspectors said in other cases, hygiene levels were so bad they had no option but to close down outlets.

Auckland Council gave examples of some of the problems discovered by inspectors.

On one occasion, as an operator was explaining to health inspectors that there were no hygiene issues, a huge cockroach walked on to the bench.

"They told me hand on heart there were no problems," the inspector recalled.

In one case an inspector noted "a strong rodent smell in cupboards and storage areas". This place was also closed down.

Another noted "the smell of rotting produce hit when opening the car door on arrival to inspect the premises".

And in some eateries, fridges have been so overloaded the food cannot be stored properly; raw meat is left on a higher shelf where it drips into other food such as salad, likely to cause food poisoning.

Council licensing and compliance officer Carole Todd said each area of Auckland operated under existing bylaws for food grading, so there were some differences in how premises were graded.

But generally premises were rated against their compliance under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974.

"It's important to remember that most premises with low grades are working hard to remedy this," said Todd.

"For instance, an E grade may have been closed in the past, and essentially be on probation, but they are working hard to improve their standards."

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 23 Sep 2014 07:20:48 Processing Time: 657ms