Tough fines for food safety violations

MUSCAT, May 5 – The Minister of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources issued a decision on Sunday amending Food Safety Law with changes in penalties. Establishments will be charged for between RO 100 and RO 5,000 for manufacturing food items without a licence or dealing with adulterated or harmful substances not suitable for human consumption. As per the decision, selling food products in unlicensed places or selling unsourced products (not having or attributed to a known source or origin) will invite a fine of not less than RO 100 and not more than RO 500.
Establishments will be charged a fine of not less than RO 100 and not more than RO 500 if their staff is not adequately trained in food safety as per the guidelines issued by the competent quality control authorities. Restaurants, cafes, fast food joints, bakeries, kitchens, food processing plants, mills, livestock slaughterhouses, shopping malls as well as areas designated for refrigerated, frozen, canned and dry food products will come under the law. The places designated for storage and preparation of food should have cameras installed for any kind of supervision.
The fines will be doubled if the same violation is repeated within two years from the date of the first offence. A fine of not less than RO 500 and not more than RO 2,000 will be imposed if details are not clearly mentioned in the product’s packaging. It may be noted that Muscat Municipality raised concerns over lack of health safety guidelines at some establishments, especially coffee shops and restaurants. The municipality shall immediately remove the violation with the cost to be incurred by the violator.