The former operator of an Adelaide bakery where rodent droppings were found in food has been fined $166,000.
The bakery business in Adelaide’s west is no longer operating, but it used to supply several food outlets including supermarkets and delicatessens.
The court heard council inspectors found rodent droppings in mixtures for custard tarts and cookies. There were also mouldy ingredients, including chocolate, butter and glacé cherries, as well as spice mix and herbs containing dead and live insects.
The court heard the bakery owner kept running his business despite a council prohibition order to stop him selling food. His lawyer asked the court to be lenient, as the owner kept operating his bakery in filthy conditions because he believed he had to work to live and had declined government-funded disability benefits he was entitled to.
The magistrate said the hefty fine took into account the risk to public health, and that unsuspecting customers could have become very ill.
“This is serious offending, I note the period of time over which the offending occurred, I note the nature of the offending, I note it includes a deliberate flouting of a prohibition order,” he said.
“In my view the potential of illness or serious injury was significant.”
The business owner was required to pay an additional $1902 in court costs. The business has been shut down.