Doubles, food outlets shut down
By Vashtee Achibar Friday, August 30 2013
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Black pot: Public health Inspector III Alexander Ramnath inspects a blackened pot used for frying doubles at Ali's Doubles on Harris Street, San Ferna...
Persons purchasing food in San Fernando will soon be able to tell when the premises had been inspected by the Public Health Department.
Additionally San Fernando Mayor Dr Navi Muradali, in conjunction with the Public Health Department, will soon launch “DineSafe, City of San Fernando”, a programme with the aim to safeguard the public and assist restaurants owners.
This latest initiative by the City Corporation will provide restaurant owners, food vendors, and groceries, with an inspection certificate to be placed in full view of the public so persons may know the last date of inspection. Additionally, the Mayor said, the City’s Hotline, 211, will be displayed so the public may report any health violations to the Public Health Department.
The toll-free service is available 24 hours daily, and will ensure consumers can confidentially report any restaurant, road-side vendor, or grocery, for poor sanitation or improper food preparation and handling.
Yesterday two more restaurants were ordered closed by the Public Health Department of the San Fernando City Corporation as it continues its crackdown on errant restaurant owners. Ali’s Doubles, on Harris Street, and Nature’s Restaurant and Bar, on Coffee Street, were ordered to close and clean-up for major public health violations.
Public Health Inspectors (PHI), led by Alexander Ramnath, PHI III, visited the restaurants and issued clean-up orders. Ramnath said eating establishments will only reopen when all remedial works are completed and re-inspection takes place.
More than 70 places selling or preparing food including restaurants, road-side vending areas, and groceries, have been inspected over the past few months and many have been asked to close and clean-up before continuing to sell to the public.
In response to the poor and unsanitary conditions in the city’s restaurants and groceries, Muradali said, “The time has come for consumers to become more vigilant and report improper food preparation and handling and also for restaurant owners to get their act together and protect the public’s interest.”
He said the “DineSafe” programme will afford greater transparency to the public and offer restaurant owners and grocers the opportunity to improve their standards regarding food safety.”