Australian Hotel Trying to Rehabilitate Itself After the Excrement Ice Cream Scam

by Gopalan on Nov 2 2008 4:16 PM

The Australian hotel charged with serving excrement-tainted ice cream is trying to rehabilitate itself by unveiling a range of hygiene measures and initiating compromise talks with the offended customer.

THE Coogee Bay Hotel management will install six new security cameras tomorrow, with the food preparation area to be under constant surveillance.

It has also invited New South Wales health authorities to do monthly inspections of the kitchen.

Customers will be able to have their say about the hotel via its website, to be launched soon.

The moves were sparked after the Whyte family of Queens Park were given a complimentary bowl of gelato after complaining about service at the hotel on October 5, the day of the NRL grand final.

When Mrs Whyte put a spoonful of the gelato in her mouth, she immediately suspected it was excrement and spat it into a napkin.

Last week the NSW Food Authority announced it would perform a detailed DNA-based test on the sample provided by Mrs Whyte to determine if the faecal matter is animal or human, and the sex of the provider.

Laboratory tests have confirmed that the bowl of ice-cream contained faeces and investigations by the hotel and the New South Wales Food Authority are continuing into how it got there.

A legal mediation between the parties has been tentatively brokered for Friday.

Retired Federal Court judge Trevor has been appointed as mediator by both parties, News Limited reported.

Jessica Whyte said she is looking forward to the meeting and said an apology was more important than compensation.

"Even with this mediation, if it takes place ... I will not stand down unless we have a public apology and public acknowledgment from the hotel that the incident happened," Ms Whyte told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

"We will stand strong on this.

"For us, the mediation isn't about money, the mediation for us is to make sure the truth comes out."

Meantime surveillance footage emerged that disputed the Whyte family's recollection of events, but Ms Whyte says it is part of a smear campaign.

"If they think that by releasing little whispers that we're going to go away - we're not," she said.

"I really want to challenge them, because all they're doing is insinuating and trying to make us look bad continuously. Stand up and accuse us properly and accurately."

Ms Whyte's husband Steve said the family has nothing to hide.

"The Coogee Bay (hotel) seems to think that I went to the toilet and bought back some poo and put it the ice-cream bowl or the napkin," Mr Whyte said.

"Then DNA test me or do whatever you've got to do, the reality is we've got nothing to hide."