TWO eateries in Macalister Road, Penang, were ordered to be closed for two weeks effective today by the state Health Department after dead cockroaches and rat droppings were found in the kitchens.
An enforcement team from the Health Department and the Penang Municipal Council conducted a spot check on the eateries yesterday and found the kitchens’ cleanliness in deplorable condition.
Mildewed tamarind paste, potatoes placed next to a broom and freezers with temperatures not set at the required degree were also found in the kitchens.
The team rated the two eateries at 33.1% and 23.6% respectively which were well below the passing score of 50% for its cleanliness level.
State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the Health Department was called in as they were the only ones authorised to close down dirty eateries under the Food Act 1983.
“The two premises had been issued with compounds and given warnings on several occasions since June 2.
“Ample time was given for them to rectify the situation but they remain adamant,” he said when met at the scene.
Penang municipal councillor Ong Ah Teong said the eatery owners were slapped with 10 compounds earlier for dirty premises, expired validity date of employees’ anti-typhoid jabs and using newspapers to wrap food.
“This is the fourth time we have raided these premises but sadly, our advice has fallen on deaf ears.
“The owners of the eateries will only be allowed to resume operation if they clean up their act in two weeks,” he said.
Ong added that the council had also recommended 10 “dirty” eateries in George Town and Tanjung Bungah to be monitored by the Health Department.
Food premises are graded an A for scores of 80 to 100, B for 65 to 79 and C for 50 to 64.
According to state Health Department’s statistics, a total of 121 eateries were ordered to close down in 2005, 207 in 2006, 281 in 2007, 133 in 2008, 147 in 2009 and 124 up to May this year.