|Penang Health Department Enforcement Unit chief Ahmad Shukri Bakar examining the raw food at a restaurant in Kepala Batas|
Fifteen nasi kandar restaurants and stalls in Penang have been shut down by the state's Health Department from today for operating in dirty conditions.
The four-hour operation which began at 9.30am saw six premises being shut down at Seberang Prai Utara, two in Seberang Prai Tengah, three in the Northeast, and another four in the Southwest, said State Health Department Enforcement Unit chief Ahmad Shukri Bakar.
He said among the gross offences detected which caused those premises to be shut down was placing pots of exposed marinated chicken on top of drain covers.
"There was also a case where a container filled with fried chicken was placed next to the rubbish bin that was not covered, and rat faeces found lying around in the raw materials store room," he said when met after the operation in Jalan Bertam here.
He said of the 32 premises inspected across the state, most of the foreign nationals employed there were found without food handling certificates and had not received typhoid vaccinations.
Ahmad Shukri said the premises were given 14 days to clean-up in accordance with Section 11 of the Food Act 1983 before being examined again.
"However, to avoid longer disruption of business operations, employers may request a re-examination of their premises by officials, a minimum of three days after the notice of closure has been issued," he said.
He said his department had also issued seven compounds totalling RM6,100, while 30 summonses amounting to RM2,110 were issued by local authorities for improper waste management.
The public may call 04-2017277 or 04-2017278 if they have any complaints regarding dirty food premises or damaged food products in the state.