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Salmonella outbreak closes Ricardo’s at Jamison and Central Cafe Gungahlin

By Charlotte Harper - 16 February 2017 11

Sign at Ricardo's. Photo: @DJCotts

Two Canberra cafes, Ricardo’s at Jamison and Central Cafe Gungahlin, remain closed after an outbreak of salmonella led ACT Health to investigate food handling procedures and processes.

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Kelly said the Health Protection Service had identified the outbreak and that staff from the service had inspected a café in Belconnen and another in Gungahlin and found issues related with food handling processes and procedures.

ACT Health did not name the businesses “as it could unreasonably affect the business affairs of registered proprietors, or unduly influence or impair future legal proceedings”, but the RiotACT has confirmed the identity of the businesses.

“HPS has served prohibition orders on both premises and is working with the cafés to address these issues,” Dr Kelly said.

“The cafes will be closed until such time as the identified issues have been rectified.

“This action means that there is no ongoing risk to the health of the ACT population from these events.”

Central Cafe Gungahlin

A sign in the window of Central Cafe says the operators had ordered new refrigeration equipment a month ago but it had yet to arrive, and that they would re-open once it did.

“Recognising the need to update and replace various items of refrigeration equipment, we placed an order for new fridges, coolroom and cooking equipment etc, about one month ago,” it reads.

“Unfortunately the Health Dpt arrived for inspection on the 10 Feb 2.30pm with record temp of 41 degrees and found our refrigerator was not up to standard.”

Sign at Central Cafe

Ricardo di Marco, the owner of Ricardo’s, told The Canberra Times that the cafe’s smoothies and cronuts had been investigated.

“They came back with the smoothies, so we took it off the menu, and they told us the things we had to change and we did it straight away,” he told the newspaper.

One customer who became sick after eating at Ricardo’s told the RiotACT she shares the concerns of many Canberrans for the future of the popular business.

“Even though I was very sick I do believe that these things happen and I would go back there,” she said.

“Especially now they’ve rectified the issue.”

The Chief Health officer said the outbreak presented a timely reminder of the importance of food safety, not only in the hospitality sector, but in the wider community.

“As this is an ongoing investigation HPS is not in a position to provide the number of people affected,” Dr Kelly said.

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 visit:

http://www.health.act.gov.au/public-information/businesses/food-safety-regulation
http://www.health.act.gov.au/sites/default/files/Publications/Factsheets/Foodborne%20disease.pdf

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Salmonella outbreak closes Ricardo’s at Jamison and Central Cafe Gungahlin
1
Serina Huang 12:59 pm
16 Feb 17
#

Terrible news. I love Ricardos (as do my kids), and I hope it is back in business soon.

2
Lolly375 3:57 pm
16 Feb 17
#

I have been in hospital for almost a week with Salmonella from this place and my partner is on the floor above me.

3
Pity 4:02 pm
16 Feb 17
#

A diplomatic response from Central Cafe. They could have gone on a rant towards The Health Department or denied the claims, but they didn’t. Good on the health department for keeping us safe, good on Central Cafe for handling it well. I hope things are back to normal soon and people don’t turn away their business. After all, I’m thinking a business who has re-opened after such closure will be safer than most.

4
bronal 4:53 pm
16 Feb 17
#

How typical of the cafe to play the ‘victim card’. If they were aware of the need to upgrade their refrigeration/coolroom facilities, why didn’t they do so before the hot weather, say at the beginning of December?

The Christmas/New Year period is always the worst time to place orders and get things done.

5
John Moulis 5:03 pm
16 Feb 17
#

Lolly375 said :

I have been in hospital for almost a week with Salmonella from this place and my partner is on the floor above me.

If you are fit and healthy you are not affected by salmonella. I have eaten at many dodgy places including the Copa during the hubbub and was not affected. I also drank water in Sydney during the cryptospyridium scare a few years back.

6
crackerpants 5:12 pm
16 Feb 17
#

I was sympathetic at first (and I hope SPACE isn’t affected – I assume equipment there would be quite new) but something about the note on the door above doesn’t sit right with me. Given they had recognised a need to update their refrigeration equipment, that suggests it wasn’t doing its job properly.

The note reads as putting the closure down to unfortunate timing on the part of the inspector, not that the fridge was a bit warm.

7
flippant1 5:16 pm
16 Feb 17
#

Having been someone who fell ill at the end of January I appreciated the apology I received from the owner and his openness in discussing the issue with me. I have been a long time customer and will return. I wouldn’t wish the illness on anyone and am still feeling the effects but know that the kitchen will certainly be clean when I next visit.

8
Lolly375 6:01 pm
16 Feb 17
#

John Moulis said :

Lolly375 said :

I have been in hospital for almost a week with Salmonella from this place and my partner is on the floor above me.

If you are fit and healthy you are not affected by salmonella. I have eaten at many dodgy places including the Copa during the hubbub and was not affected. I also drank water in Sydney during the cryptospyridium scare a few years back.

Respectfully totally disagree.

9
Vix 6:12 pm
16 Feb 17
#

John Moulis said :

Lolly375 said :

I have been in hospital for almost a week with Salmonella from this place and my partner is on the floor above me.

If you are fit and healthy you are not affected by salmonella. I have eaten at many dodgy places including the Copa during the hubbub and was not affected. I also drank water in Sydney during the cryptospyridium scare a few years back.

Not sure what ‘facts’ you are basing this on… two of my friends ate cronuts at Richardo’s last Friday and spent 3 days in ICU – both healthy women. Let’s be grateful that they weren’t young children, elderly or immuno-suppressed!

10
crackerpants 9:22 am
17 Feb 17
#

Vix said :

John Moulis said :

Lolly375 said :

I have been in hospital for almost a week with Salmonella from this place and my partner is on the floor above me.

If you are fit and healthy you are not affected by salmonella. I have eaten at many dodgy places including the Copa during the hubbub and was not affected. I also drank water in Sydney during the cryptospyridium scare a few years back.

Not sure what ‘facts’ you are basing this on… two of my friends ate cronuts at Richardo’s last Friday and spent 3 days in ICU – both healthy women. Let’s be grateful that they weren’t young children, elderly or immuno-suppressed!

Yes, wishful thinking – good general health/fitness/immunity is not protective against salmonella. Or cryptosporidium.

11
Andrew Thomson 2:03 pm
17 Feb 17
#

Food business owners need to make food safety a top priority. A proactive approach to managing all business risk will help in creating a certain level of confidence between you, your staff and your customers.

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