The Pizza Hut outlet in Brassall and (inset) the sign posted on its door.
The Pizza Hut outlet in Brassall and (inset) the sign posted on its door. Rob Williams

Cockroach pizza closes food outlet

A COCKROACH found in a pizza base has prompted an Ipswich Pizza Hut outlet to close its doors.

Brand owners Yum! Restaurants International closed the franchised store on Tuesday after a customer found a dead cockroach baked into the base of their pizza on Saturday night.

Ipswich City Council health inspectors visited the store at Brassall Shopping Centre on Tuesday before Yum! voluntarily closed its doors.

A hand written note posted on the inside of the front door says the store is “closed due to maintenance”.

Ipswich City Council Health and Regulation Committee chairman Andrew Antoniolli said the pizza, including the cockroach, was collected by council officers on Monday.

He said the council administered the state’s Food Act on behalf of the Queensland Government.

“A customer contacted council out of hours and we followed up the complaint on Sunday and earlier this week. The source of the contamination on the pizza was later collected and confirmed to be a cockroach,” Cr Antoniolli said.

“The store imposed a voluntary shutdown in order to address the contamination and also do a full clean up of the store.

“The extent of the problem was not such that council was required to shut the store down. The incident required immediate action, rather than a shutdown.

“We received full assistance from the management of the store. Pizza Hut has moved promptly and effectively and we applaud them for their quick response.”

Pizza Hut general manager of operations Paula Nelson confirmed that a “foreign object” had been found in a pizza.

She said council officers made a series of recommendations to the store but did not issue a fine.

“At Pizza Hut, food safety is our number one priority and we impress that upon all our franchisees,” she said in a statement.

“The recommendations from the Ipswich City Council represent a disappointing lapse by this store in its adherence to our processes.

“The outlet has been closed and we are working closely with the franchisee to ensure that the store meets both the council’s recommendations as well as our own high standards.

“This incident has served to reinforce Pizza Hut’s commitment to continued improvement and to ensure that incidents such as this can be prevented from happening again.”

Cr Antoniolli said the store could reopen at any time.

“Because the closure is voluntary Pizza Hut is free to open again,” he said.

“Council will be issuing a formal improvement notice and failure to maintain the conditions of that notice can be very, very costly.”

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