Council uncovers more dirty kitchen secrets

Bawani conducting a spot check at the hawker centre in Jalan Jelutong. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

THE Penang Island City Council shut down and fined two hawker centres after finding rat droppings on the premises. They also fined a kuih centre for disregarding cleanliness.

Council environmental health officer Bawani Murugasan, who led seven officers during the operation, said the two hawker centres located in Jalan Hijau 5 and Jalan Jelutong were ordered to close till Feb 2.

Bawani said eight compounds totalling RM1,000 were issued to the three centres.

“Six compounds were issued to the hawker centre in Jalan Hijau 5, one to the hawker centre in Jalan Jelutong and one to the kuih centre in Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim,” said Bawani at a press conference.

“Some food handlers at the hawker centre in Jalan Hijau 5 failed to get typhoid injections and we found cockroaches and rat droppings there as well.

“Hawkers at the centre in Jalan Jelutong improperly handled their food which could result in cross-contamination.

“Some placed ready-cooked food near raw ingredients.

“The kuih centre was fined RM100 as one of its workers had unkempt fingernails.”

A council enforcement officer collecting rat droppings from the kitchen floor.A council enforcement officer collecting rat droppings from the kitchen floor.

She added that the compounds issued were between RM100 and RM250, depending on the offence.

Bawani said the spot checks conducted every two weeks would continue throughout the island this year.

“This is our seventh spot check since we started in November last year and so far, we have conducted seven operations on 21 outlets.

“A total of 17 outlets were shut down. One of the major factors was the discovery of hazardous rat droppings.

“Premises found to have rat droppings will be ordered to close immediately, even if its surroundings are in hygienic condition,” she said.

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