A bone to pick with errant eateries

MONASH restaurants have the highest rate of offending against health department standards in the state, according to official figures.

The Department of Health's register of convictions shows that five Monash eateries have been fined for failing to comply with food safety standards over the past 18 months.

In 2012, public health officers conducted 1151 inspections. Three businesses were prosecuted for unsafe food practices.

■ In Clayton, Moza Corner proprietor Kamal Dharmet was slugged with a $35,000 fine for failing to comply with the food standards code.

■ The proprietor of Choi Palace BBQ Restaurant, also in Clayton, was fined $20,000

■ In Glen Waverley, Spicy Fish manager Jimmy Wei Wang was fined $15,000, proprietor Global Oceanic Investments was fined $40,000 and director Li Qin Ding was fined $40,000.

A further four on-the-spot fines were also issued: two in Glen Waverley, one in Mulgrave and another in Oakleigh. The Department of Health was notified in each case.

Monash mayor Micaela Drieberg said the council inspected every restaurant in the city at least once a year.

"Our staff do take public health really seriously," she said. "In serious cases, we can prosecute the owners of the business. In cases where there are serious risks to public health, the council does have the power to order that a business be closed temporarily until the problems are fixed."

Businesses committing non-serious breaches are given orders by public health officers to comply with rules. Officers then conduct follow-up investigations.

"If the breach doesn't pose a serious risk to health, businesses can be given up to 30 days to fix it," Cr Drieberg said.

Despite the convictions, council staff believe it is safe to eat out in Monash.

"Restaurants can come good after a bad period," she said.

"For example, Spicy Fish has passed several inspections by our staff in recent months."

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