Sunday, July 21, 2013

22 dirty eateries in Penang shut down

Penang Health Department inspectors checking the freezer of one of the eateries in Bayan Lepas

State Health Department and local authorities act after receiving complaints from public

GEORGE TOWN: SIX nasi kandar joints, several of them popular ones in the state, were booked for being dirty recently. They were also ordered to close for two weeks by the state health authorities.

The errant operators were among 22 eateries ordered closed under Section 11 of the Food Act. Among the 22, five were on Penang island and the rest on the mainland.

State Health Department deputy director Ku Nafisah Ku Ariffin said a team of inspectors from her department and the State Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry conducted spot checks on the outlets after receiving public complaints.

Assisted by enforcement officers from both the Penang Island and Seberang Perai municipal councils, they checked 34 food outlets.

Most of the errant food operators were found to have failed to keep their premises clean.

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At many outlets, there were no proper waste disposal system. Their toilets were also dirty.

The kitchens, including the six nasi kandar outlets booked, were dirty and their floors were always wet. The utensils were also found to be not properly cleaned.

Some workers were found to have failed to observe proper hygiene when preparing and handling food. There were also no proper storage for raw and cooked food.

Ku Nafisah said there was no guarantee that the dirty outlets would be allowed to resume business once the 14-day closure order was over.

A team of inspectors will return to inspect the outlets to make sure the operators adhered to the requirements, she said.

To date, the health department has inspected 3,288 food outlets throughout the state and 96 have been ordered to close for 14 days after they were found to be dirty.

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