Dob in a diner for virus breaches

Authorities are calling on patrons to dob in restaurants flouting COVID-19 safety protocols after 23 Sydney venues were issued heavy fines.

Among them was Strathfield Korean BBQ joint Butchers Buffet, which was slugged $5000 by SafeWork, as first reported in the Sunday Telegraph.

Inspectors who visited the site on September 11 saw customers sharing utensils, condiments, plates, bowls and trays of food, while seating was not adequately spaced out.

The venue also had no coronavirus marshal, and patrons were captured on CCTV not physically distancing while serving themselves at the buffet.

SafeWork NSW director of work health and safety metro, Sarina Wise said the breaches defied logic.

“Self-serve buffets and pandemics simply don’t mix, creating a source of potentially contaminated items,” Ms Wise said.

“No self-serve buffet style food service areas are allowed including communal bar snacks and communal condiments.

“Sharing items on a buffet is clearly a direct line for COVID transmission.”

Ms Wise has urged diners to report any unsafe practices.

It came following a crackdown in Sydney last week, which saw inspectors issue fines to pubs, cafes, restaurants and bowling clubs across the city for breaches ranging from inadequate spacing between gaming machines, having tables and chairs too close to together, not having a COVID-19 Safety Plan or being registered as “COVIDSafe”.

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said: “While most venues are doing the right thing, there are some that think they’re above the rules.

“This is unacceptable and my message to them is simple — pick up your game or you’ll be fined. Community safety must come first.

“Inspectors are on the beat every day and they won’t hesitate to crack down on businesses breaking the rules.”

The fines are among 150 that have been issued to date, amounting to $658,000.

You can make a report here.

These businesses were fined this week:

· Albion Hotel – Parramatta

· Ashfield Bowling Club – Ashfield

· Butchers Buffet – Strathfield

· Cafe on Monash – Gladesville

· Commercial Hotel – Kingsgrove

· Collector Hotel – Parramatta

· Crown Hotel – Parramatta

· Erciyes Turkish Restaurant – Redfern

· General Bourke – Parramatta

· Glasgow Arms Hotel – Ultimo

· Indian Leaf – Redfern

· La Famiglia Ristorante & Pizzeria – Jindabyne

· Lotus Barangaroo – Barangaroo

· Maya Da Dhaba – Redfern

· Mohr Fish – St Ives

· Rosehill Hotel – Rosehill

· Oscars Sports Hotel – Bankstown

· Rosehill Hotel – Rosehill

· Royal Hotel – Darlington

· Ship Inn – Sydney

· Southern Cross Hotel – St Peters

· St Jude Café – Redfern

· Thredbo Alpine Hotel

· Zushi Restaurant – Barangaroo

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