Live and dead cockroaches found in popular bar
THE owner of a former well known Fortitude Valley bar and restaurant, which was found to have cleanliness and cockroach problems, has been fined $10,000.
Cockroaches were found in the The Mill on Constance's kitchen, wash-up room and dry storage area, when Brisbane City Council officers inspected the venue in June, 2018.
An audit was conducted after a member of the public complained about seeing cockroaches on the premises, Brisbane Magistrates Court heard.
The Mill on Constance also was found to have maintenance and cleanliness problems, with an accumulation of food waste, dirt and grease in areas including the kitchen.
The restaurant and bar, within a heritage-listed building in Constance St, also had holes in walls and cracks in the ceiling.
Brisbane City Council lawyer Mark Thomas told the court there were noticeable cockroach harbourage points when the restaurant was inspected.
He said there was a potential risk to the public if cockroaches contaminated food and transferred harmful diseases.
Magistrate Penelope Hay said it was a case of "good fortune rather than good management'' that no member of the public became ill, because of the cockroaches.
"It should have been apparent that there were live and dead cockroaches at the premises,'' Ms Hay said.
"There seems to be visible signs of them, including their bodies in pools of water that should have been visible had appropriate inspections been undertaken when cleaning.''
Gerard Hartnett, a builder, had operated The Mill on Constance - his first food business - in a heritage-listed building, since 2015 and was the sole licence holder.
His lawyer, Matthew Buchanan, said Mr Hartnett had not been involved in the day-to-day operation of the business, but now accepted he had been responsible.
After the licence was suspended for a few days, Mr Hartnett brought the premises up to standard with cleaning, maintenance and pest control treatment.
Mr Buchanan said Mr Hartnett closed The Mill in June last year, because of ongoing issues with the landlord over building maintenance and pest control.
He said Mr Hartnett lost the value of his business investment with the closure.
Mr Hartnett initially faced 11 charges brought by Brisbane City Council, but seven were dropped and he pleaded guilty to four charges of failing to comply with food standards.
The court heard Mr Hartnett, who still wants to run food business, had since done training in pest control.
Mr Thomas asked for Mr Hartnett to be fined $14,000.
Ms Hay fined him $10,000, after taking into account the extensive work to clean up the restaurant, the effect of the business closure, his co-operation and guilty plea.
She did not record a conviction, because he had no previous history of noncompliance, but ordered him to pay the council's court costs of $854.