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Penang Health Dept. Is After Unsanitary Nasi Kandar Joints

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Nasi Kandar and hygiene have always had a love-hate relationship. Knowing this and not wanting the public to get ill over a plate of rice with gravy, the Penang state’s health department has got their summons gun locked and loaded.

In the statewide crackdown on unhygienic conditions at such restaurants, 15 nasi kandar outlets, including several well-known ones, were ordered closed.

Among the offences found during the operation were rat infestation, unsatisfactory cleanliness of raw materials, dirty floors and walls, open rubbish bins, workers with dirty clothes, exposed food and unhygienic food handling, according to The Star.

The premises were among 32 outlets inspected in all five districts during Ops Nasi Kandar by the Penang Health Department enforcement chief Ahmad Shukri Bakar.

Of the 15, he said seven premises were on the island – three in the north-east district and four in the south-west. The rest were in north Seberang Prai (six) and central Seberang Prai (two).

He said the outlets have been shut down for 14 days for non-compliance of various hygiene criteria.

“We will inspect the premises again after that, and if we are not satisfied we will shut the operations again for another two weeks,” he told reporters yesterday.

The premises were closed in accordance with Section 11 of the Food Act 1983.

If the operators manage to clean up the premises, he said they would be allowed to resume business after three days from the date of closure.

Ahmad Shukri said the action was taken to ensure that customers were not exposed to the risk of food poisoning.

Alas, with the mamak-operated restaurants ordered to shut, here comes Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) to save the day.

Its president Noorul Hassan Saul Hameed said if the nasi kandar outlets were closed due to unhygienic conditions, it was acceptable and reasonable.

However, he said Ops Nasi Kandar was unfair as it focused only on nasi kandar outlets.

“Why should the state Health Department focus on only one type of outlet to be raided when there are other unhygienic outlets in the same areas as well?

“This act will paint a bad image of nasi kandar outlets, and it is unfair to the operators,” he said yesterday.-MYNEWSHUB.CC

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