Restaurants warned over ‘hygiene’ norms

MUSCAT, April 2 –
Muscat Municipality has sounded a warning to restaurants that do not pay attention to hygiene and eateries that keep stale food and use unhygienic ingredients.
The civic authority also called on citizens and residents to report any food or health violation to the Muscat Municipality Call Centre on 1111 (toll-free number). They can also contact the Muscat Municipality Communication Centre on social media.
In an attempt to rein in restaurants flouting hygiene norms, the civic authority last month destroyed 848 kg of vegetables and 310 fish and allied products, besides seizing 462 fruits in raids conducted on restaurants and grocers in the capital city.
“We pay great attention to regulating/controlling markets and keeping a check on unethical practices through regular inspections,” said a statement from the Muscat Municipality.
Surprise inspections were carried out by the Department of Market Regulation at the Urban Inspection Department at the General Directorate of Muscat Municipality in the first half of March.
Last year, the Muscat Municipality had initiated grading of restaurants that aimed at fixing gaps in the health standards and promoting a hygienic environment in restaurants.
Accordingly, a project titled ‘Proactive Food Safety and Health Project’ was launched that saw experts inspecting eateries, restaurants, cafes and other joints to detect pesticide residues, if any, in vegetables, fruits and pickles.
“We aim to raise the efficiency of food traders and managers of those facilities. The new project will help develop an appropriate directory and database for use in future studies and research,” said a spokesperson at General Directorate of Muscat Municipality.
Inspection campaigns resulted in unearthing 15 violations by migrant vendors engaged in activities without a municipal licence and in an unhealthy manner, posing a threat to the health and safety of consumers.
These campaigns found violation of municipal rules, resulting in destruction of huge quantity of meat and vegetables and the confiscation of unhealthy food ingredients and tobacco. Hefty fines were slapped on them.