Updated with statement from Nando’s Qatar
The Hyatt Plaza branch of popular chicken chain Nando’s is among a handful of eateries in Qatar that were closed in the past week over food violations.
Inspectors from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) ordered the outlet in Al Waab to shut for seven days, following recent spot checks.
At the time of the closure, Nando’s Qatar said in a statement:
“Our Hyatt Plaza branch is currently closed due to a potential issue surrounding our beverage dispenser. We respect and strive to follow the rules and regulations of the jurisdiction and and we are doing our utmost best with our supplier to resolve the issue within the coming days.”
The branch will remain closed “until all parties are satisfied,” the company added.
Photographs posted by the ministry on its website showed cardboard packaging of Coke Light, stamped with an expiry date of June 2016.
Al Wakrah closures
Meanwhile, ministry inspectors also shut down four other eateries in the last week for having expired food or preparing meals in unhygienic conditions.
Two of these were in Al Wakrah. Turkish eatery Antakya Barbecue and Pattessery was closed on Oct. 11 for a week for having food unfit for consumption.
A photograph on the ministry’s website showed frozen chicken that was past its expiry date, according to the sticker on its plastic wrapping.
The day before, Asian restaurant Royal Palace was also shut for seven days for the same reason.
Inspectors also ticketed a grocer in Najma and a cafeteria in the Old Airport area.
Abdullah Restaurant was found to have unhygienic conditions and was closed on Oct. 9 for 30 days.
Meanwhile, Al Thofir Fruit and Veg shop in Najma was closed last Thursday, Oct. 13, for 15 days after an unannounced inspection found expired foods.
These closures are the latest in an intensified campaign by the MME to ensure food outlets comply with the country’s hygiene and safety laws.
So far this month, inspectors have ordered 10 eateries and grocery stores to shut.
Since August, officials have had an additional incentive when inspecting food outlets.
They can now earn a bonus of 5 percent of the total fines collected from companies for food offenses. However, the reward cannot exceed QR100,000 per person.
Currently, the MME names erring outlets on its website in Arabic.
But last week, the Cabinet approved an update to the food law that could ensure the names of violating establishments are more widely advertised.
The proposed changes include requiring eateries to pay for an announcement in two widely-read newspapers.
They would also empower any government authority, not just the MME, that issued the closure decision to publish the news on its website.