Ravendra Prasad outside Brisbane Magistrate’s Court today. Picture: David Clark/AAP
Ravendra Prasad outside Brisbane Magistrate’s Court today. Picture: David Clark/AAP

Restaurant shut down over roaches, faeces and grime

THE owner of a St Lucia restaurant that was immediately shut down when health inspectors found it infested with cockroaches has been fined more than $20,000.

Indian Feast owner Ravendra Prasad today faced court over a series of food safety breaches discovered by council officers during snap inspections in July and August 2017.

Brisbane City Council lawyer Roman Micairan said health inspectors found six breaches at the St Lucia restaurant in July 2017, including a "significant" infestation of cockroaches, improper food storage, a dirty kitchen with a build-up of food and grime and cockroach faeces throughout the cooking area.

"It is a very worrying set of circumstances to see a cockroach infestation in a food business," Mr Micairan said.

"One of the things that allows such a cockroach infestation to manifest or occur is the state of the kitchen - dirt, grease and food waste strewn around the kitchen provides cockroaches with a very convenient food source."

Mr Micairan said Prasad became "irate" at the female health officer when she warned his licence would be immediately suspended and began disparaging her heritage and competence at her job.

Despite the warnings and his business being shut down for five days, inspectors found a further three breaches when they returned the following month including issues with food temperatures.

Defence barrister Peter Trout said Prasad had been going through a stressful time when the offences occurred and he was stretched and working 12 hours a day to cook for Indian Feast and a second restaurant he owns.

"My client is adequately remorseful ... he accepts shouldn't have said words about the (inspector's) country of origin," he said.

Mr Trout said the five-day shutdown cost Prasad up to $8000 and that the restaurant owner had not tried to hide and was still operating under the same business name.

Outside court Prasad said customers could "absolutely" have confidence in his business which now has a three star health rating.

"I absolutely apologise about it," he said.

"Things happen, we are human."

Magistrate Anthony Gett fined Prasad $20,000 for the food safety breaches, $150 for insulting the health officer and ordered he pay the council's costs of $251.