Jeddah Municipality steps up inspection visits to food outlets



— Jeddah Municipality has stepped up its inspection campaign against restaurants, butcheries and other food outlets in the city.

Municipality inspectors closed down 389 food outlets in the third week of Ramadan as part of the campaign that was launched early in the month.

The municipality organized 2,400 investigation tours around various food establishments. It said 389 establishments were closed down and 540 others issued warning notices as they were found to be violating hygiene requirements.

The tours covered restaurants, cafeterias, grocery shops, butcheries and other locations. About 12 tons of rotten or expired food was confiscated.

The inspectors confiscated 230 kilograms of local dessert as part of a crackdown launched early Ramadan. The municipality has documented a number of violations at the location that produced sweets and pastries including two popular Hijazi desserts.

The business was found to be operating without a license, the workers had no health certificates and the location lacked general hygiene. The location was closed down by representatives of the municipality and all food and equipment confiscated.

Another unauthorized business was found in Al-Jamia district selling samosa sheets. Seven tons of rotten food was confiscated while equipment found to be in good condition were given to charity organizations.

Similarly, half a ton of meat was confiscated from 100 butcheries.

The municipality has also distributed 650 awareness posters at butcheries to provide guidance to both butchers and consumers.

Another 1,900 flyers were distributed at slaughterhouses and butcheries to stress the importance of doing vet checkups.

The municipality confiscated 480 kilograms of minced meat and warned butchers from selling minced meat or mixing fresh meat with frozen meat.

During the first two weeks of Ramadan, the municipality has organized 680 inspection tours during which 90 establishments were closed down and 305 others issued warnings after they were found to be violating hygiene requirements.

Nasir Mitib, deputy mayor for regional municipalities, said the violations varied and included not obtaining licenses, employing workers without health certificates, not storing food according to safety and hygiene standards, presenting food items without displaying their sources and lack of cleanliness.