ERRANT eatery operators in Penang still have not improved their ways as the state Health Department found out.
During a raid in Bayan Lepas on the outlets previously given bad hygiene ratings, officers were greeted with several unappetising sights including cockroaches crawling between serving plates, filthy cooking utensils and rat droppings.
Two food courts and 16 food stalls at Lintang Bayan Lepas 2 were ordered to close for 14 days under the Penang Sihat operation on Thursday.
A total of 14 summonses and compounds totalling RM4,300 for unhygienic practices were issued.
Penang Health Department Inspectorate and Legal head Ong Ang Guan said his officers targeted the eateries due to previous bad ratings.
Northeast district health officer Dr Umarazina Abdul Kadir also found ketum and cough syrup at one of the beverage stalls raided.
Ketum is used as a painkiller as well as an energy booster but its abuse can lead to addiction.
Raids were also carried out under tobacco control laws.
Summonses were issued to two underage smokers while shopkeepers caught selling cigarette sticks individually and cigarettes below market price were also fined.
Apart from the Health Department, the operation involved enforcement officers from Penang Island City Council and Penang Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.
The operation was the ninth one for the year carried out under the Food Act 1983, Food Regulations 1985 and Food Hygiene Regulations 2009 as well as Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004.
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