ENFORCERS and inspectors of Penang Island City Council (MBPP) take their public health inspection rounds seriously when they go out.
A team that went on their rounds on Wednesday night demonstrated how they would go about searching every nook and cranny of retail establishments.
When they find evidence of rat or cockroach infestation, businesses find themselves punished with a shut-down-and-clean-up order.
Peeking with torchlights and even infrared thermometers into every little crevice and crack that vermins are known to hide in, the enforcers strive to ensure public health on the island is maintained.
Two mini markets in Little India and a nasi kandar outlet, well-known for its long queues of customers late into the night in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, were so ordered after rat and cockroach droppings were found in their premises.
The premises were also found to be in an unhygienic condition.
In the 8pm operation, MBPP Licensing officers led by environmental health officer M. Bavani, even spotted rats scampering about in one of the premises that were inspected.
Bavani said the three premises were ordered to close and clean up for up to 14 days starting from Jan 8 to 21.
“During that period, they have to comply with cleanliness requirements as advised, especially regarding pest control against rats, cockroaches and flies.
“After they have done that, they can contact us and we will return to do another inspection and if the council is satisfied with the condition of the premises, they will be allowed to resume their businesses as usual, ” she said.
She said the shut-down order was in accordance with MBPP by-laws under Section 38 (1) of the Food Establishment Act Bylaws 1991.
During the operation, another nasi kandar restaurant in Little India was slapped with a RM100 compound for causing cross- contamination risk by placing too many items in their fridge.
The operation, which was conducted by 12 MBPP officers from the Licensing Department and three MBPP enforcement officers, ended at about 11pm.
Bavani advised food premises owner to always ensure the cleanliness of their establishments as MBPP will continue with more operations.
She said MBPP was always concerned about the quality of food premises on the island and operations would be conducted based on the ratings of the establishment and public complaints.
“It is important for them to ensure their place is clean and they follow the rules and regulations set by MBPP such as wearing proper food attire like hats, aprons and shoes, ” she said.
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