Compensation claim over food safety closure defeated

Tuesday, 30 October

Lismore City Council will not be required to pay compensation to a Nimbin café after it successfully defended its decision to close the premises while improvements to food health and safety standards were made.

The Contented Tummy in Nimbin was closed for nine days after the owners refused to comply with Council food health and safety orders. The matter related to ensuring appropriate sanitation standards were met in the cafe’s kitchen.

The owners sought to seek compensation from Council for loss of business during the closure.

“We are very pleased with the decision,” Council’s Senior Public Health Officer Cameron Smith said.

“We made a simple request of a business to improve its kitchen area for the health of customers and the owners refused to comply with our order. This unfortunately meant we had no choice but to shut them down.”

Mr Smith said Council was always willing to work with businesses to ensure they could keep their doors open while making repairs or improvements. He said forcing a business to close its doors was a last resort.

“It’s not something we take any pleasure in but we do take our work seriously – when we see breaches of food health and safety we have a responsibility to the wider community to ensure they are addressed,” he said.

“We urge businesses to work with us and address food health and safety concerns in a timely and efficient manner to ensure incidents like this do not occur.”


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