Food-safety violations cost Chandra’s $20,000

Chandra’s Takeout Restaurant & Catering on Markham Rd. pleaded guilty to four food-safety violations in an East Toronto court Nov. 13. The charges were laid after Toronto Public Health shut down the eatery for four days at the end of August.

Toronto Public Health’s safety concerns included live cockroaches in the food preparation area and meat and other perishables kept at room temperature.

The charges laid were failing to control a pest or insect infestation, failing to protect food from contamination, not having a certified food handler and obstructing Toronto Public Health’s red closure sign while shut down in August.

Justice of the peace Sylvia Hudson penalized the restaurant with the maximum $5,000 fine for each of the four violations, for a total fine of $20,000.

The restaurant, owned and operated by Chandrakathiyamma Anantharajah has been in business since 1995, but this is not the first time it has received warnings from Toronto Public Health. The restaurant has also received two yellow conditional passes from Toronto Public Health in the past 18 months.

On both occasions, health inspectors returned three days after issuing the conditional passes and after the second inspections granted the restaurant green passes.

Results of earlier inspections posted on Toronto Public Health’s website state the restaurant also failed to provide hand-washing supplies to staff or properly sanitize food preparation areas.

Chandra’s has since passed its two most recent inspections on Aug. 28 and Nov. 6.

Owner Chandrakathiyamma Anantharajah was unavailable for comment.

To learn more about DineSafe, Toronto Public Health’s food premises inspection and disclosure system, and to see individual inspection results click here.