Seafood restaurant owner fined for safety equipment infractions

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
June 14, 2018 - 10:03am Updated: June 15, 2018 - 4:42pm

The owners of a Red Deer restaurant have been fined after they were charged for failing to properly maintain life safety equipment.

A Mr. Sabharwal, owner of Joey’s Only Seafood Restaurant at 5431 43 Street, entered a guilty plea in court and have been fined $5,000. The maximum fine under the Safety Codes Act is $100,000 for each offence, or a six-month jail term.

Red Deer Emergency Services says the restaurant did not maintain equipment such as its fire protection system over the commercial cooking equipment.

Sabharwal was also charged for making a false or misleading statement because he dated and initialed the fire suppression system, extinguishers and kitchen exhaust service tags with the intent to avoid regular maintenance.

On Friday, President of Joey's Only Franchising Ltd. Andy Taylor released a statement expressing the company's disappointment.

"Joey’s Seafood Restaurants has been part of the Red Deer community for close to 30 years and we value and honor that relationship. We are an Alberta based company and the actions of this franchisee are not in line with the values of this company or this community and the many dedicated and committed franchise partners we have throughout the province and Canada.

We are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding this violation of the Safety Codes and consulting with the relevant experts and authorities on how we can help prevent this in the future. Our regular inspection showed fire safety compliance about four weeks before this deception was uncovered. We are considering our options at this time. Joey’s Home Office reserves further comment pending the outcome of our ongoing investigation."

The RDES Fire Prevention Bureau encourages restaurant owners to review best practices related to the regular maintenance of safety equipment.

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