It’s last orders for dodgy restaurants
Eateries warned: clean up or shut down
Hundreds of food outlets have been put on a watchlist by the authorities for failing to meet basic hygiene standards, with the worst found to have cockroaches in their kitchens.
The Food Inspection Section at Dubai Municipality said visits will be stepped up for 670 ‘acceptable’ or ‘weak’ eateries. More than 160 other outlets have been shut down, although they have been given a chance to turn their businesses around. Many were in Deira and Bur Dubai, officials said.
The municipality carried out close to 24,000 inspections between January and September. A total of 1,084 were rated ‘excellent’ and 312 have been given a new ‘gold’ award for high standards.
Sultan Ali Al Tahir, Head of Food Inspection, told 7DAYS that along with recognising the best, there has to be action taken against the worst offenders.
He said: “Food outlets were temporarily closed for violating health and safety regulations.
“The 163 outlets were found to be the worst in following health and hygiene rules. For example, they were not clean, they didn’t meet specific pest control requirements. Inspectors found cockroaches in some food outlets.”
He said cheap cafeterias, shawarma stands and restaurants were among those penalised.
Last month, the municipality said it had sent letters to 572 shawarma outlets in the city, explaining new health and safety guidelines after becoming concerned at standards.
But inspectors said 25 per cent – 141 outlets – did not take any action “at all” and another 20 per cent – 113 – stopped serving rather than meet the new rules.
Al Tahir said a common trend was for outlets with cafeteria licences, which allows them to sell snacks and drinks, turning themselves into restaurants. He said: “They aren’t allowed to do that. Cafeterias have a small space, so they can’t be operating as a restaurant. “They don’t have enough room, it makes the area less sanitary.” Al Tahir also said outlets need to ensure buffet outlets are storing food at 5C or below and hot food items at above 60C. A manager should also be present during whenever staff are preparing food to ensure it is done so properly.