Health hazards: Govt to rein in eateries

SOPs being laid down for restaurant, hotel owners.

Umer Farooq August 09, 2015
SOPs being laid down for restaurant, hotel owners. PHOTO: NNI

PESHAWAR: The district administration is likely to introduce standard operating procedures (SOPs) for running eateries and selling food in the city, insiders told The Express Tribune.

The decision has been taken in view of continuing ongoing action against the eateries which have failed to comply with health and safety standards.

Binding obligations

When contacted, Peshawar Additional Deputy Commissioner Osama Ahmad Warraich said owners of eateries will be bound to follow a series of guidelines to maintain a healthy and hygienic environment at their businesses under the SOPs.

“They will need to wear uniforms and gloves, cover their heads and keep the kitchens clean,” he said.

Volley of complaints

Over the past few months, the district administration has launched a series of crackdowns on eateries in the city which have breached health and safety standards. It has also been providing updates about these crackdowns on social media. Overall, the action has been widely appreciated and is likely to receive more attention after the DC’s office puts into effect its plans to expedite efforts against profiteers, fake doctors and restaurants and hotels.

The ADC said the administration had received numerous complaints – even through the social media.

“We started the operation based on information provided by the food inspectors,” he said. “As soon as people came to know of it, they started approaching us directly. The more raids we conduct, the more complaints we receive. So far not a single false accusation has been made. Wherever we went, we found the information to be true.”

Warriach said they were advised to issue notices to the hotel, restaurant and departmental store owners.

“We shouldn’t have to warn them,” he said. “They should realise they are playing with the lives of innocent people.”

Modus operandi

Warriach said health and food inspectors accompany them during raids and collect samples of seized foodstuff for laboratory tests.

“The process takes several days,” he said. “However, we request the lab to carry out the tests as soon as possible. Whenever they confirm contamination, we simply seal the restaurant or hotel and impose a penalty.”

He added the provincial government has given the administration a free rein to carry out the operations.

“We will not bow down to any pressures,” he said.

Warriach said lists of those officials who issued clearance certificates to such businesses are also being compiled and soon they will be taken to task.

An official privy to the development said the administration has penalised those found guilty of violating health standards.

“They have also launched an offensive against fake consumer goods and have sealed several factories,” he said. “Departmental stores are also being checked for selling expired products and several hotel managers and owners, including those from a five-star hotel, have also been booked.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2015. 


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