New norms for mobile coffee shops, vendors

Qais bin Sulaiman al Kashri

New norms for mobile coffee shops, vendorsMUSCAT: The Muscat Municipality has issued a decision amending some provisions of the safety regulations related to public hygiene.
Decision No 185/2017 added an item to the regulations on the mobile coffee shop activity that included the location, the vehicle on which the coffee shop activity is carried, the vender’s licence and the types of food that are allowed to be sold.
Qais bin Sulaiman al Kashri, Director-General of Health Affairs at Muscat Municipality said the decision is meant to regulate food safety related activities set forth by the Street Vendors Regulation promulgated by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s decision No 241/2016 which legalized a number of activities to be performed by the street vendors.
Al Khashri said that the decision stems from the municipality’s keenness to control the selling of foods under health and hygienic conditions in compliance with the food safety regulations set by the municipality.
The decision regulates the activities of selling mashakik, corn, fresh fruits and vegetables, dates, honey and beverages.
All the street vendors activities are subject to the municipality’s food safety specifications. These activities are also come under the routine inspections carried out by the municipality, Al Khashri added.
The decision stipulated the obtainment of a licence as a prerequisite for performing a mobile coffee shop. The licence is confined to Omani nationals who are registered with the Public Authority for Small and Medium Size Enterprises. It is valid for one year and it can be renewed.
As per the decision, mobile coffee shops may be set up in public areas such as the beaches, habta markets, public play grounds, celebration squares and public parks.
A mobile coffee shop can be set up within a 200-metre radius from the nearest coffee shop or restaurant.
The decision stipulates the use of electric stove for cooking. The types of foods and drinks allowed to be sold at mobile coffee shops include boiled eggs, fried eggs, coffee and sausages in addition to ready-to-eat-foods such as biscuits, cakes, sweets, canned drinks and juices (fresh drinks are not allowed).