Fly-infested 'foo chuk' factory ordered to close for two weeks by health inspectors


NIBONG TEBAL: A fly-infested bean curd skin (foo chuk) factory has been ordered to shut down for two weeks following a raid by the state Health Department at Simpang Empat here on Wednesday (Oct 27).

The department's enforcement unit chief Mohd Wazir Khalid said the raid was conducted after weeks of surveillance by health investigators.

Wazir said the raid, dubbed "Ops Bersih", also included representatives from the Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) enforcement and licensing unit.

He added that the factory, which has been operating illegally for about 12 years, was in a filthy condition and did not meet operating standards set by the department.

"The place was a mess and does not qualify at all to process food," he told reporters during the raid.

Wazir added that a foreign worker fled when enforcement officers raided the factory.

He said the unhygienic factory could cause contamination to the food that was processed there and this could trigger food poisoning in consumers.

During the raid, more than five dogs were found on the premises, posing a threat to the raiding party.

Wazir said a food processing factory should not have pets roaming about the premises as it could cause cross-contamination of the food.

"As we see here, there are many flies and it is possible that they could perch on the bodies of the dogs and contaminate the food," he said.

Wazir said the temporary closure order was made under Section 11 of the Food Act 1983, adding that the company must clean up the premises before being allowed to resume operations.

He said the factory, which was raided three years ago, had been slapped with a similar closure notice and still repeated the same mistake.

He said two compound notices from the Health Department amounting to about RM5,000 were issued to the factory owner while another compound notice was issued by MBSP for operating without a licence.

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