20 May 2018

Ricardo's owner to fight unsafe food charges from 2017

| Ian Bushnell
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The owner of Ricardo’s Cafe in Belconnen will fight criminal charges related to alleged unsafe food in his establishment in 2017, the ACT Magistrates Court heard this week.

Rick De Marco has been charged with eight offences, including negligently selling unsafe food early last year, Fairfax Media reported.

The court heard that more than 100 people reported falling ill, including 19 hospitalised, after eating at the cafe, with 75 confirmed cases of salmonella.

The alleged source of the food poisoning was the cafe’s smoothies and cronuts.

The closed sign at Ricardo's in February last year.

The closed sign at Ricardo’s in February last year. File photo.

ACT Health closed the cafe between February 14 and 18 in 2017, with inspectors finding salmonella on Chux dishcloths and tea towels.

Fairfax reported that Mr De Marco’s solicitor, Adrian McKenna, said his client pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The charges are that he negligently sold unsafe food, failed to transport food in compliance with standards, and handled food to make it unsafe, as well as failing to ensure a closure notice was not obscured.

The case was set down for hearing on September 24.

Salmonellosis is caused by an infection with the bacteria Salmonella. It causes a gastrointestinal illness with symptoms including fever, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting. Salmonella is often spread through the consumption of poorly cooked or contaminated foods.

Raw or undercooked eggs, meat and poultry are particularly high-risk foods.

People with health concerns should see their medical practitioner.

For more information on food safety, click here, or here.

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