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Brisbane restaurant fined after cockroaches were found

A court issued $15,000 fine was handed to George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant in Brisbane after cockroaches were found in the kitchen on the premises.

Michael Tassis, director of the restaurant, together with the company that owns the Eagle St Restaurant, pleaded guilty to five Brisbane City Council charges on Friday.

In July 2019, the Greek seafood restaurant was shut down for three days after a BCC food safety audit discovered cockroaches in different parts of the restaurant, cleanliness concerns and food storage issues. During the three day shut down, the restaurant underwent a deep clean. 

A photo taken by inspectors showed a food preparation area with a cockroach nearby.

The Brisbane Magistrates Court also heard that a container of bread rolls was spotted on the floor instead of on a shelf, during a busy lunch period.

Lawyer for the restaurant, Darrell Jardine said the restaurant had improved its cleaning and pest control systems since the food safety audit, stating that the restaurant is now subject to a deep clean every 10 weeks and daily cleaning hours have doubled. Mr Jardine also stated that there have been no pest issues since last year.

Magistrate Colin Strofield said, “It’s more than pest control, it’s cleanliness,” claiming insufficient cleaning of the restaurant may have led to the cockroach problem. 

Mr Jardine has claimed that the cockroach issue may have begun when the previous tenant underneath the restaurant moved out. 

Mr Jardine said Mr Tassis and the company were in a very demanding financial position employing 190 staff in their three restaurants and that even before the COVID closure, the net operating position was “in the negative”. 

The magistrate took into account the guilty pleas, attempts to rectify the issues since the audit and the lack of previous prosecutions when handing out the $15,000 fine. Mr Tassis was also placed on a $2500, 12 month good behaviour bond, with no conviction recorded.




Irit Jackson, 14th August 2020