Warrawong sushi bar the latest Japanese restaurant to cop fine

Sushi restaurants have become the food outlets most likely to fall foul of safety regulations in the Illawarra - mostly if food is not kept at the right temperature.

The latest Wollongong restaurant to score an unwanted place on the NSW Food Authority's list of penalty notices is another sushi outlet - the fourth local Japanese restaurant to feature on the register in recent years.

An analysis of the penalty notices shows restaurants' failure to keep the food at the right temperature was the most common reason for the Japanese delicacy to earn the ire of food safety inspectors.

Latest on the list is Shinobu Sushi Bar at Warrawong, which was fined $880 in February for failing to ensure sushi was under temperature control. Previous warnings had been given before a council inspector issued the fine.

Shinobu co-owner Brad Lin said he had learnt from the experience and now "everything's good".

"The council told me what to do," he said.

"He gave me a warning. He's not satisfied, so he gave me a fine.

"Now we follow up all that council asked us to do, so we have no problem now.

"We do everything right, now everything's all good."

Shinobu joins Okuma Sushi in Wollongong Central - fined $880 in February 2013 for the same offence - on the register. Okuma was also fined two years earlier for temperature faults.

Sushi must only be kept above 5 degrees for four hours, after which it must be thrown out.

The Japanese Bento House on Keira St, Wollongong, was fined $440 last year for failing to time stamp sushi, so it could be thrown out after four hours.

Fuji San at Dapto was fined in 2013 for temperature problems with chicken, and cleanliness issues.

Sushi - and chicken - kept too warm risks becoming an ideal place for food poisoning bacteria to grow. Pathogens that can grow include listeria, salmonella and staphylococcus.

Across NSW, sushi restaurants are responsible for just 37 of the 1560 penalty notices that are displayed on the "name and shame" register.

Illawarra restaurants are doing much better than those in parts of Sydney, with only six penalty notices coming from premises in Wollongong, one from Shellharbour, and one from Kiama.

The other major category to feature on the Wollongong list has been butchers, fined for using illegal quantities of sulfur dioxide preservative.

To view the penalty notice register go to foodauthority.nsw .gov.au and follow the links.

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