D is for Diarrhoea, D is for Dysentery

Auckland Council has found 25 eateries did not meet acceptable food safety standards.
NZ Herald

My Mum and I ate at a Whangaparaoa cafe next to the warehouse a number of times a few years ago. One day my darling son casually asked me if I had noticed that they had a D rating. “D for Diarrhoea,” he said laughing, “D for Dysentery,!” I responded shocked.

Is it just me or is it crazy that businesses are allowed to operate with a D rating or worse? Shouldn’t they be closed down until they can demonstrate an improvement to an acceptable grade? A D is not a pass so a D is not average, it is below average. Surely customers shouldn’t be exposed to below average standards?

Imagine if the same rationale was applied to other businesses. You go to a mechanic to fix your car and after you pay you notice he has a Mechanic repair grade of D poor standard.


Twenty-five Auckland eateries have been given a D or E grade food grade rating.

The reasons given  for the ratings include:

Poor pest control

Translation: rats, mice, cockroaches, ants and other creepy crawlies.


Translation: a lack of proper hygiene

Cooking processes

Translation: undercooked food

Food storage

Translation: raw food stored beside cooked food, cross-contamination of meat products, unsealed containers.

Of those eateries five have been given the worst E grade, which means they have a critical risk and must close until they fix the problem.

What does that even mean? Can their food kill you rather than just give you a case of the screaming dab dabs?

The other 20, with D ratings, are still open for business while they address the reason for the poor rating.

There are about 8900 eateries in Auckland and the council issues four grades – A, B, D or E. There is no C because eateries should either be above or below the standard.

So why can D grade businesses still operate and sell to unobservant customers like my Mum and me?

Auckland Council environmental health manager Mervyn Chetty said a business with an E-grade rating was subject to more inspections once they reopened.

“For example, if a food business is found to have extensive cockroach infestation, it will not be permitted to reopen unless the cockroach infestation has been satisfactorily mitigated. In cases like this, the operator must engage a professional pest control operator to eliminate the cockroaches. We will subsequently re-inspect the business and if the treatment is found to be satisfactory, the business will reopen.”

[…] Businesses which have been given a D rating would be re-inspected within two months of getting the poor score.

What I learned from my experience and I hope you have now learned too, is to check the rating BEFORE you step foot inside a cafe. Just because they have been allowed to stay open does not mean their food is fit for human consumption.

Have you ever eaten somewhere and found out later that they had a D grade?


-NZ Herald


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