MBPP councillor Wong Yuee Harng said from today onwards, the council would not only issue compounds, but would immediately shut down the dirty eateries for 14 days.
The move under the MBPP (Food Establishments) by-laws 1991 was approved during the council’s meeting in September.
Previously, only the Health Department was allowed to close dirty premises.
Wong said food operators should keep their premises clean for the benefit of their customers, and themselves.
“The council does not intend to make the lives of the food operators difficult, we only want them to keep the premises and the surroundings clean.
“If they keep their premises clean, they have nothing to worry about,” he said during a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday.
Wong said the council would conduct their own operations in future and decide whether to order dirty eateries to close down.
“Dirty eateries will have to close for a minimum of 14 days.
“If operators do not want to wait that long, they will have to clean their premises and request for another check by the council after three days.
“If a second visit by the council finds the premises satisfactory, we may allow them to reopen earlier than the 14 days,” he said.
Wong said the conditions for closure of dirty eateries include a cleanliness score of below 50, pest infestations and if they find workers down with infectious diseases.
“In future, the council may conduct its own operations or joint operations with the state Health Department.
“But we will be using the same standard operating procedure as the state Health Department.
“This is to ensure that the state can push for all food premises in Penang to achieve at least Grade B by next year,” he said.
To achieve a Grade A, premises need to score between 86 and 100 marks while Grade B requires a score of between 71 and 85.
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