LAHORE: The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) closed down over 20 food outlets and penalised dozens of other food businesses for not following provincial food regulations on Sunday.
The provincial watchdog continued its operations and inspected the quality of food products found in Sunday Bazaars and markets in various areas of the provincial capital and other districts.
The authority sealed over 20 businesses for less than satisfactory hygiene. There were two businesses sealed in Lahore, Bahawalpur, Rawalpindi and Muzzaffarabad each, while seven outlets were sealed in Gujranwala, four in Multan and one in Faisalabad and Sargodha each.
PFA food safety officers also imposed fines worth Rs700,000 on food business operators across Punjab.
In Lahore, the authority sealed two poultry shops for not adopting the approved system for slaughtering animals. The poultry shops were also overridden were insects and cats, while the working environment of both shops was extremely unhygienic. Moreover, they were using chemical drums to slaughter the birds.
A spokesperson for the authority highlighted the fact that workers at both the outlets did not possess a medical certificate, while the businesses were operating without a food license.
On a similar violation, PFA officials imposed fines worth Rs128,000 on 15 food points and served notices to 55 food businesses operating in the provincial capital. The authority also discarded over 30,000 kilogrammes of adulterated and unsafe food items including milk, eggs, snacks, sweets, oil, yogurt, pepper, chemicals, meat, salt and gutka.
PFA Director General Noorul Amin Mengal said that all food outlets, including production units, bakeries, restaurants and other food points were sealed for after were sealed owing to proven adulteration in food. These businesses were not following food laws and selling substandard and banned food items, he added.
PFA food safety officers discarded over 20,000 kilogrammes of substandard and unsafe pickle in Multan and approximately 11,250 kilogrammes of frozen milk in Muzaffargarh, he highlighted.
PFA will not allow anyone to violate food standards. We are committed to promoting the safe handling of food through awareness programmes and training sessions, he emphasised.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2018.