The RiotACT has received the following statement from Ricardo de Marco, the operator of Ricardo’s at Jamison, in response to our story earlier today about the cafe’s closure following a salmonella outbreak.
At the end of January, ACT Health notified us that approximately 15 people had become ill after drinking smoothies at our Belconnen café.
ACT Health performed a number of tests on our equipment and kitchen, and we immediately removed the smoothies – containing milk, fruit and yoghurt – from the menu as a precautionary measure.
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We were informed that there were NO positive salmonella test results returned from any equipment or ingredients relating to our smoothies.
ACT Health suggested changes to our cleaning processes which we have followed.
We have worked constructively with ACT Health at all times.
This week, they notified us there had been another outbreak related to our Cronuts. Again, ACT Health attended our premises and observed our processes and took numerous samples.
We have been informed that NO positive salmonella test results were returned from any equipment or ingredients relating to our cronuts.
ACT Health did, however, report that salmonella had been found on one Chux dishcloth and one tea towel.
Instead of allowing us to sanitise our restaurant and change our policies in relation to the use of these items, we were closed down at 5pm on Tuesday 14 February.
The following day, our team attended the restaurant and threw out all foodstuffs and undertook a full sanitisation of our premises. Later that day ACT Health attended and took a full sample of swaps from across all areas of our restaurant.
We await those results.
ACT Health told us they would attend our premises on Thursday in a bid to allow us to reopen. Despite numerous calls we are yet to be inspected.
It is deeply disappointing that any test result has come back positive from our shop, which has been serving quality food to Canberrans for 11 years and has never given cause for investigation by ACT Health.
Our staff have all conducted a comprehensive hygiene education program and we have a documented policy relating to our use of Chux to clean and prepare work surfaces.
This includes coloured Chux being reserved for specific areas and all Chux to be placed in sanitised water between use. There has been no more reported illness connected to our premises since 10 February.
If anyone has become ill or been hospitalised as a result of salmonella contracted from Ricardo’s I am deeply, deeply sorry. We have always worked diligently to provide excellent customer service and have always taken the utmost care in operating a clean and hygienic restaurant. Our kitchen is now perhaps the most sanitised kitchen in the city.
We look forward to receiving a full clearance from ACT Health so we can begin operating as soon as possible.