Workers go all out to spruce up Line Clear
GEORGE TOWN: Workers of Line Clear Restaurant, which was ordered to close for two weeks after Health Department officers found rat droppings, rat carcasses and cockroaches in the premises, have started cleaning the nasi kandar eatery.
A board, with the words: Tutup sementara, ubah suai” (Closed temporarily for upgrading) written on it, was placed at the entrance of the restaurant.
Checks by the New Straits Times yesterday showed workers removing pots, pans and cooking utensils from the kitchen before giving it a good wash.
The dining area was filled with boxes of drinks, spices and other provisions removed from the storeroom, also to be thoroughly cleaned.
The workers began washing up the place on Monday night, hours after being served the closure notice.
A partner in the 70-year-old business, Abdul Latif Zulkharnai, 56, said they hoped to complete the cleaning up process by tomorrow.
“We will ask the health officers to conduct checks here once again so we can resume operations by Saturday.”
Latif said he had received numerous calls since the incident went viral.
“This restaurant has been in operation for generations. Our image as an iconic nasi kandar restaurant in Penang has been tarnished.
“Our customers questioned us but I couldn’t give them an explanation. The negative comments on social media is hurting us badly, too,” he said.
Latif and his partner, Sahubar Ali Mohd Hanibah, 59, gave the assurance that the food prepared would be the best and promised to look into the cleanliness of the restaurant in future.
On Monday, health officers found unhygienic items in the storerooms of the eatery, located next to the kitchen.
Line Clear was one of two outlets in the state ordered to be closed. The other was Yasmeen Nasi Kandar Restaurant.
News of the closure went viral in the social media and the operators were bombarded with negative criticisms.
Sahubar said they were taken aback by the sudden joint-raid by the state Health Department and the Penang Island City Council.
He said his staff was aware of the rats in the premises and he had lodged a report with the local council to do the necessary.
“I called them last week. On Saturday, they came to put rat poison. The next day, they came and collected many dead rats.
“Suddenly, they raided the restaurant and ordered us to close for two weeks.”
Sahubar said he took over the business from the previous operator on March 1.
“We have weekly and monthly cleaning schedules despite serving nasi kandar 24 hours a day.
“We usually do the cleaning up during the wee hours of the morning when we have few customers to serve,” he said.
Workers cleaning up the Line Clear Restaurant in George Town, Penang, yesterday.