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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Ministry sets deadline to name and shame eateries flouting the law

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Health violations

Effective Friday, April 25, Qatar will begin publicizing the names of eateries closed for violating food safety laws, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning has said.

On its English-language Twitter account this week, the MMUP said:

The move comes as the country implements new, stricter amendments to its food law, which include longer closures, higher fines and potential jail time for offending outlets.

Qatar has been talking about naming and shaming eateries for years, but has not consistently followed through with previous plans.

This could be because doing so carries far-reaching implications for the country, where businesses and people in trouble with the law are not usually publicly identified.

Past promises aside, this is the first time the MMUP has set a deadline to name the outlets in question, on its website and at the eatery itself.

Reaction

The idea has received a warm welcome from many residents, who have often expressed confusion and frustration after seeing their favorite restaurants and stores closed without explanation.

Last April for example, Spinney’s grocery store at the Pearl-Qatar was suddenly shut for a month due to health violations. In response to concerns, the chain’s CEO said on Facebook that this was due to inspectors finding a weevils in a packet of dry pasta.

Many residents said that the information helped them decide whether or not they wanted to continue shopping at the store.

Conversely, many businesses may not want residents to know what rules they were found flouting. Last fall, for example, IDAM, the Alain Ducasse restaurant at the Museum of Islamic Art, was closed for a month.

When reached by telephone, a staff member told Doha News at the time that the restaurant had a “technical problem in the kitchen, which has been rectified.”

Do you think naming and shaming is a good idea? Thoughts?

22 COMMENTS

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nphnph
nphnph
7 years ago

I wanted to report a violation yesterday. I call the Department of Consumer Protection, which appears to operate 24 hours a day. They directed me to the Municipality for reporting a food safety violation. It is open Sun-Thurs. The number is 4426 6666.

aarokkiyam .
aarokkiyam .
7 years ago
Reply to  nphnph

I have to file a complaint against a famous North Indian restaurant located near Jaidah flyover with solid evidences on it’s in-hygienist conditions. I took all efforts to reach the Municipality call center but there is no luck. The above number (44266666) is, yes it is 24 hours a day – ringing, ringing always ringing.

Any help please?

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  aarokkiyam .

Maybe they’ll implement a system whereby you can email them a picture just like the traffic violators 😉

nphnph
nphnph
7 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

I actually *did* email a photo to the inspector.

nphnph
nphnph
7 years ago
Reply to  aarokkiyam .

I called the Municipality about an hour ago, and within 1/2 hour an inspector called me back. I sent him the photo. He said he would visit the restaurant TONIGHT and call me back later to report on the results of his investigation. I couldn’t be more pleased. Very professional and responsive. 🙂 Try calling again!

Martin
Martin
7 years ago

This is a positive step, II’s not naming & shaming it’s about transparency and informing the people of Doha so they can make their own decisions.
I’d like to see the same transparency applied to the courts so the people of Doha are aware of who flouts the law or doesn’t come to court.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

How does this go with the defamation laws? It’s illegal to “defame” someone even if it’s true. Is this not the same? Not saying I’m against this food safety law but what if the owner is Qatari? will he be able to sue for defamation?

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Desert card and mimh are always against qataris…btw spinney is not a qatari one

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

That is defamation and libel my friend because it is not true! However I will not pursue you in the courts as I can’t be bothered to waste my time on someone so narrow minded.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

Of course it’s not a Qatari one.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Defamation is personal, this is about a business…

Ugene
Ugene
7 years ago

If the establishment in question breaks a minor law, and it’s the first time I don’t think it’s right to be posting their name in public. It should only happen for fragrent violations or repeat offenders. Spinneys can rebound, but other smaller establishments could lose thier business completely, and real lives will be seriously affected. The municipality must use common sense.

Mayette
Mayette
7 years ago
Reply to  Ugene

Then fragrant violations shoukd be defined. Health laws in Qatar are not as strict as anywhere else hence breaking it once is a pretty obvious sign of neglect

R.D.H
R.D.H
7 years ago
Reply to  Mayette

I work in restaurants here and would argue that food safety laws in Qatar are much stricter than western countries.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago
Reply to  R.D.H

They will be named and shamed along with the violation. So people can decide for themselves if it was a serious violation or not and continue their patronage accordingly. I don’t see, how being strict or not would effect this law?

R.D.H
R.D.H
7 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

You have missed my point…I was replying to the fact that mayette said that laws over here are not as strict as anywhere else. Good job.

Mayette
Mayette
7 years ago
Reply to  R.D.H

they’re not as strict if you’re comparison pool is right. we lack hygiene and actual food quality checks:

1- we do not have strict food labelling laws: we can skip items and label “spices” as so without specifying anything
2- we do no have a comprehensive list of banned chemicals in foods and still are allowed to use flavor enhancers and banned food coloring
3- we do not have a list of preferred supplies and are limited to a number of companies that do not always bring the best quality of items
4- though you can’t keep the food heating or around the sun for short periods, that helped limit the amount of cases we like to call “summer Diarrhea” where eating a Showarma or something similar in the summer is deadly
5- hygiene in doha is not taken as serious and people still don’t so simple things like wear gloves when they roll sambosas or wear hairnets
6- freshness of food is not something of focus – as long as its not expired and it doesn’t have cockroaches or worms in it, it is edible, and yes i am happy that they started cracking down on
7- it is hard to know the origin of your food in doha in most cases since the packaging and the suppliers never specify

the list goes on

KK
KK
7 years ago

I noticed that some restaurants in the Pearl, Villagio have been closed temporarily, probably with good reason. But than approx. 90% of the restaurants in f.e. al sadd or in the souq should be closed at once.

Big Biker
Big Biker
7 years ago

It’s simple! I wish to know which restaurants are unsafe to eat in. It’s my health or worse that is at risk and I expect to eat out and not get sick. If an establishment is unsafe then name them and state the reason they have been identified as unsafe. If your in hospital will you still be concerned with defamation.

sadam
sadam
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Biker

relax this is Qatar. this ain’t some third world country or China sellin rat meat and sheet. The chances you’ll ever die from eating from an establishment here is nil. The State just wants every establishment to be squeeky clean shinin & shimmering

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

Ever see the meat hanging on hooks outside the butcher shop next to Thai Noodle?

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Yep sure have. Not hygienic at all.

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