A large stock of food un­fit for hu­man con­sump­tion was de­stroyed and the traders, who had vi­o­lated san­i­tary reg­u­la­tions and food safety reg­u­la­tions were se­verely warned by Health Au­thor­i­ties of the De­hi­wela-Mt. Lavinia dur­ing raids on more than 110 busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments in­clud­ing ho­tels, gro­ceries, meat stalls, su­per­mar­kets, restau­rants and snack bars in Ratmalana and Mount Lavinia ar­eas.

Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Health Dr Indika Ellawala said a team of of­fi­cers car­ried out the raid on pub­lic com­plaints against traders deal­ing in the sup­ply of food, who did not pay at­ten­tion to the san­i­tary state of their ho­tels, bak­eries and cater­ing ser­vices.

He said the MOH had or­gan­ised a se­ries of raids to up­grade the sup­ply of food to the con­sumers in a san­i­tary man­ner and to save them from un­scrupu­lous traders.

Dr Ellawala said in sev­eral ho­tels, beef, chicken, and fish had been stored with other food items in­clud­ing ice cream and desserts.

He said a stock of used cook­ing oil, which had not been dis­carded, raw pota­toes and rice in­fested with worms and wee­vils, a stock of kottu roti, mush­room, rot­ten big onion, ex­pired soft drinks, bis­cuits and cooked meals un­fit for hu­man con­sump­tion were de­stroyed.

Dr Ellawala said food had been stored with­out any con­cern about the san­i­tary reg­u­la­tions in rooms which were in­fested with rats, cock­roaches, flies, and geck­oes while the kitchens in sev­eral ho­tels had not been cleaned for a long time.

“It was shock­ing to find that veg­eta­bles and herbs were washed with wa­ter brought from toi­lets ad­ja­cent to the kitchen. The work­ers in ho­tels were wear­ing dirty clothes and most of them were not phys­i­cally fit for em­ploy­ment as ho­tel work­ers,” he said.

The busi­ness­men who vi­o­lated the food safety reg­u­la­tions and san­i­tary reg­u­la­tions were se­verely warned and in­structed to im­prove the stan­dard of their busi­ness premises and to in­form through area PHIS for fur­ther in­spec­tion and fail­ing to do so would re­sult in le­gal ac­tion against them.

Dr Ellawala said a large stock of out­dated flour was found in one of the bak­eries and it was de­stroyed with the con­sent of the busi­ness­man and le­gal ac­tion taken against him.

He said the cater­ers were warned that it was a mis­con­cep­tion that the pub­lic was gullible to any thrash and that they should strictly ad­here to food safety reg­u­la­tions to avoid pub­lic com­plaints.

Mu­nic­i­pal Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer Dr K. Wick­remesinghe, Ad­min­is­tra­tive PHI Lalith Wasantha Per­era, Colombo Head PHI, Ratmalana area H.S. Caldera, area PHIS R.P.T.S. Rajapakse, D.J.S.M. Ku­maratunga, H.G.N.C.B. Mee­ga­hako­tuwa, and G.H. Chan­dana car­ried out the raids on the in­struc­tions of DHS Colombo Dr A.I. Jagoda, Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mis­sioner Su­nil Galagama and CMOH Dr Indika Ellawala.

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