Auckland baker sentenced over cockroach infestation

The owner of an Auckland bakery has been sentenced for breaching standards by having a "severe cockroach infestation" in her premises.

You Sim Be, who operates The Mekong Hot Bread Shop in Henderson, was fined $600 and ordered to pay court costs of more than $130 when she appeared at Waitakere District Court yesterday.

A charge against co-defendant Kong Hour was withdrawn.

Be had earlier pleaded guilty to a single charge of being the owner of a shop providing food that breached standards by having a severe cockroach infestation. The charge was laid by Auckland Council.

Outside court yesterday Be said she had been complacent about cleaning under the fridge, where the roaches were found and was relieved the case was over.

She said cleaning under the fridge had become a priority.

"Nothing is wrong with the shop right now. We do more cleaning every day now."

The infestation was discovered when council inspectors made a spot check of the Bruce McLaren Rd business in July.

Be said the bakery was shut down for one-and-a-half days before the council gave the all-clear that the insects had been exterminated.

The council immediately dropped the business' hygiene grading to E, the lowest possible.

Yesterday the council website showed the shop had a B grading, meaning it meets the "minimum statutory requirements".

A council spokesman said premises graded E were closed down immediately until the reasons for the rating were fixed.

Officials would consider prosecution, depending on the circumstances and registration could be withdrawn if the prosecution was successful.

A search of the council website yesterday revealed just 21 outlets of hundreds across the region had the lowest grades possible - E, or D in the area formerly run by North Shore City Council which used a different system.

The council spokesman said people with concerns about food outlet hygiene could contact them on (09) 301 0101.

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