Fitzroy (note that North Fitzroy is considered a separate area in this data) has seven bakeries (that is, premises where baking occurs, not necessarily where baked goods are sold to the public). They are:

  • Fatto a Mano (formerly Gertrude Street Organic Bakery), 228 Gertrude St
  • NY Bagels, 113 Rose St
  • Licata’s Bakery Bar / Cafe (formerly Pane Provinciale, also known as Itza cafe), 402 Brunswick St
  • Smith Bakery, 237 Smith St
  • Le Gourmet Cakes, 271 Brunswick St
  • Smiths Cakes & Aquilana Pasticceria, 297 Smith St
  • Babka bakery cafe, 358 Brunswick St

I have recently received the details for all the hygiene inspections carried out on Fitzroy food service businesses, and I posted some of the common reasons for failing an inspection last week. Because the names of the businesses are protected by privacy laws, I have been denied access to this information and the residents of Fitzroy have been prevented from accessing information that could help them protect their health and wellbeing.

Anonymity may work well in a crowd, but when you’re one of only seven it is less effective. The sequential nature of the inspections suggests that at least two of the seven bakeries have received repeated visits from the inspectors and have repeatedly failed their inspections without making the necessary improvements to their premises and practices.

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I’ve not had any bad experiences with any baked goods in Fitzroy. NY bagels are available at the Beans and Bagels cafe on Johnston St, so you can eat them locally. I’ve never bought bread from Smith bakery, and from what I have seen, Licata’s or Itza stopped baking earlier this year and is now only a cafe (please note I am not making a connection between this observation and the information presented here).

I’d like to hear from customers of these bakeries about their experiences with their products. The food we eat from these offending bakeries could be a threat to our health. We deserve to know who they are.

serious problems with some of Fitzroy’s bakeries

14 thoughts on “serious problems with some of Fitzroy’s bakeries

  • 29 October 2009 at 9:27 am
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    They don’t bake at Babka?

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    • 29 October 2009 at 10:18 am
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      Oops yes they do, I accidently cut them out of the list, which has been corrected.

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  • 29 October 2009 at 12:02 pm
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    I’m a regular of Fatto O Mano as a quick breakfast on the way to work and place always looks clean and food is great. mmmmmm pizza slice.

    You seem a little obsessed about this whole food compliance thing? Have you had a bad experience in your past?

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    • 29 October 2009 at 12:10 pm
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      I am interested in the food hygiene issue for two reasons: first that it is a matter of public health that can easily be improved; second that residents pay rates to councils for them to inspect businesses to keep us safe yet the councils and state governments refuse to publish the information, thus denying people the ability to make informed choices. The issue is about freedom of information, the rights of consumers to make informed choices and growing demands from citizens, taxpayers and ratepayers for transparency and accountability from governments.

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  • 29 October 2009 at 2:26 pm
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    I would be interested to know why every second week when I walk to work on Rose Street I can see the Pest Control car parking between Bimbo Deluxe and The Veggie Bar.
    Especially because I like both venues and I am a little worried every now and then I see them parking there…
    Do you have any insights here Brian? Would also appreciate it if you can send me some data via email.
    Cheers.

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    • 29 October 2009 at 3:24 pm
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      Hi Markus, I have no specific info on this. These businesses may be hiring a pest control service as part of their normal hygiene management practices, which means it is a good thing. Or is is a council vehicle you refer to? I’m going to do further posts on other business types (cafes and restaurants) based on the inspection data.

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  • 30 October 2009 at 11:42 am
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    That was my thought too when I saw it last time. It’s not a council car, I believe the name was something slightly odd like “Gay Nutter Pest Control”..
    Yep keep us updated, I appreciate it.

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  • 30 October 2009 at 3:17 pm
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    Isn’t Denchs a Fitzroy bakery??

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    • 30 October 2009 at 3:40 pm
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      It’s in North Fitzroy, which is a separate suburb. I am focusing on Fitzroy only while I explore what data I can get and what I can do with it. I do have the initial data (without inspection details) for North Fitzroy and may do a post based on this in future.

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  • 3 November 2009 at 4:04 pm
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    Urgh, the Vegie Bar, such a popular place, such a poor reputation and an alarmingly high turnover of staff. I have a friend who did a stint as a chef there and said the state of the kitchen was rather revolting. I also have a friend who refuses to eat there as she saw a waitress drop an item of food from a plate and then place it back on the plate, then serve it to a customer. Not nice.

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  • 4 November 2009 at 7:26 pm
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    I understand your point Brian, but do you think we’re getting too caught up in the bureaucracy of food hygiene?
    Most people’s kitchens would struggle to pass a food hygiene inspection, yet we eat food from our own kitchens every day without falling ill.
    I think the results of these inspections which you have attained, are excellent feedback for the businesses to receive from the inspectors to help them ensure their premises are clean and hygienic. They shouldn’t be used to persecute the business. Whilst I don’t know the details of the testing, if the establishments haven’t been closed down by the inspectors, then it could be assumed they meet the minimum hygiene requirements/are not exhibiting recurring problems.
    As a consumer, we do have a right to make informed choices, but we have to be careful that we’re using data and information like you’ve attained in the right way.

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    • 4 November 2009 at 9:23 pm
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      Buying food is like any contract for the purchase of goods or services – you should get what you are promised. If you’re promised safe food (and no one promised unsafe food) then to not get what you asked for is a breach of contract. Unsafe businesses can trade for months and even years before being shut down.

      I think consumers have the right to inform themselves about the suitability of different food providers, and as we already pay for the inspections we should have access to the information we have paid for. It’s a serious issue about transaprancy and accountability for governments, which are elected to serve real living people yet which often seem to serve incorporeal businesses better. This needs to change.

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  • 7 November 2009 at 5:22 pm
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    As someone who’s worked in various kitchens in Fitzroy, I understand your point. But I think you’ll find even the cleanest kitchens have a list of things to improve every time there’s a health inspection. Most of the things that are mentioned in that report are pretty tame though, they seem like the mistakes that any place will make more than once in it’s lifespan.

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    • 7 November 2009 at 5:27 pm
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      Obviously the places that fail repeatedly are the biggest problem, as they demonstrate thet their owners are not trying to improve. All the more reason why the public should be able to judge for itself.

      Reply

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