A TOTAL of 103 eateries were ordered to close temporarily in Penang last year for not meeting the health guidelines.
State Health Department deputy director (Food Security and Quality Division) Ku Nafishah Ku Ariffin said 26 of them were ordered to close because rats were found in their premises.
“Besides rat droppings, the other common offences included the exposure of ingredients to dustbins and broomsticks nearby which put the foodstuff at risk of contamination and the lack of proper innoculation for the workers,” she explained during a special briefing on the 2014 Health Department overall report in Komtar yesterday.
“We also frequently found the workers failed to wear proper attire and gloves.”
Ku Nafishah said the premises were usually ordered to be closed for 14 days and could be reopened once the owners had complied with the regulations.
“Last year, we carried out 19 operations in the state and raided 619 sites, of which 452 were restaurants, 119 were factories and 48 stalls.
“We also issued 126 compound notices worth RM94,000,” she said.
In 2013, she said they raided 482 outlets, of which 152 were told to shut down temporarily.
Ku Nafisah added that this year they would carry out ‘Ops Premis Makanan Bersih’ and ‘Festive Seasons Ops’.
“The main objective is to increase awareness among the public and to remind food operators to comply with our hygiene and health guidelines,” she said.
Ku Nafishah said complaints from the public on dirty outlets had also increased to 156 in 2014 compared with 106 in 2013.
“We received about 80% of the complaints through phone calls while the rest were lodged at our department website or from walk- in visitors,” she said.
The public can lodge complaints against unhygienic eateries at 04-2017277/8 or at moh.spab.gov.my.