SEVERAL open air steamboat eateries in Bandar Baru Klang (BBK) may be ordered to close because of multiple violations.
Klang Municipal Council (MPK) Health Department acting director Zulkifli Abbas said health inspectors had found vermin infestation in the kitchen and storeroom in 42 eateries where food and canned drinks were stored.
“We have given the operators one week to conduct an immediate clean up and carried out pest control,” he said, adding notices were issued under the Food Establishment Licensing By-Laws (MPK) 2007,” he said.
“Those who fail to conform to the cleanliness requirements will be closed for two weeks or they might risk having their business licences revoked.”
Last week, Zulkifli led a team of health inspectors that carried out a thorough check of Bandar Baru Klang’s business enclave from 10am until midnight in three shifts.
Diners who had visited the steamboat restaurants had complained earlier of seeing rats scampering under the tables as people were eating while cockroaches were spotted around fresh food.
Zulkifli added that apart from the notices issued for health code violations, owners of the restaurants were slapped with 87 compound notices for having foreign workers who did not have typhoid shots, poor food handling measures and for washing vegetables nearby the drain in back lanes.
“All eateries in Bandar Baru Klang had already been advised throughout last year on cleanliness guidelines.
“This year, we will enforce the regulations strictly with no compromise,” he said, adding that the rat population in the area had been expanded.
“On Feb 18, some 55 traps were set in the back lanes and 38 rodents were caught while 100 traps were set on Feb 26, and 88 rats were caught.
“In the third phase earlier this month, 120 traps were set and 110 rats were caught,” he said.
Zulkifli said the rats were dangerous as they could be carrying the Oriental rat flea which could cause murine typhus as well as leptospirosis, commonly known as rat urine disease.
Murine typhus is a disease transmitted to humans through infected fleas living on rats, resulting in high fever and rashes.
MPK president Mohammad Yacob said that dirty eateries were putting customers’ health at risk.
“I took a walk along the back lanes of Bandar Baru Klang and found rats scavenging on food scraps dumped into drains.
“MPK contractors will clean-up the mess and restaurants which dump food into the drains will be fined,” he said.
Mohammad has ordered that all restaurants instal grease traps and demolish all makeshift kitchens in the back lanes.