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Monday, August 2, 2021

Qatar authorities close 11 restaurants for food violations

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Lewan Shamal Restaurant
Lewan Shamal Restaurant

Nearly a dozen restaurants and cafeterias in central Doha, the Industrial Area, Al Wakrah and Al Khor have been temporarily shut down by Qatar authorities this month for flouting food hygiene regulations.

Photographs published on the Ministry of Municipality and Environment‘s (MME)’s website show expired food, filthy refrigerator and storage conditions and dead bugs in the middle of a bowl of cooked rice.

A branch of the popular Afghan Brothers’ restaurant on Abdul Rahman bin Jassim Street in Al Wakrah was shut on Thursday, March 10 for 30 days for having food that was unfit for human consumption, the ministry said on Twitter.

While it did not name the eatery on its English Twitter feed, it did include details on the ministry’s website in Arabic.

Some pictures show uncovered meat in a fridge that appears to have mold on it.

The doors of the restaurant are covered in inspection stickers, advising would-be customers of the closure.

Al Hara Al Shamiya Sweets in Al Wakrah was also closed for the same reason, having food unfit for human consumption.

Filthy conditions

The previous day, Diwan Al Jazeera restaurant in Muaither was also closed for 30 days.

Photographs on the ministry’s site show filthy storage conditions, with piles of washed clothes hanging over a pot on the floor.

Month-long closures were also imposed on Colorado Restaurant on Khalifa Street in central Doha, which serves Indian food, as well as Al Tanoor Cafeteria and Abdulla Zaid Cafeteria – both of which are in the Industrial Area.

Lewan Shamal Restaurant
Lewan Shamal Restaurant

Meanwhile, Lewan Shamal restaurant in Ruwais was ordered to be closed for 15 days after inspectors found a cooked rice dish that had a dead insect in it, while Bangladesh Food Center in Al Rayyan area was also shuttered for 15 days for serving food with expired ingredients.

Three more eateries had week-long closures – The Sizzlers in Al Khor, Al Zakira Modern Chicken in Al Khor and House of Tea Restaurant.

Enforcing standards

The latest round of closures is part of an ongoing campaign by the MME (Baladiya) to take a hard line on food establishments that don’t meet basic hygiene and safety requirements.

As one of several public bodies charged with monitoring Qatar’s food establishments to ensure they comply with basic health regulations, ministry officials regularly undertake spot-checks of grocery stores, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants to ensure food quality is maintained.

In February 2014, amendments were made to Qatar’s food law that gave authorities more power to punish venues that serve meals deemed unfit for human consumption.

At that time, the ministry was also given the legal ability to name and shame closed restaurants, albeit only in Arabic on its website.

Do you eat at any of these establishments? Thoughts?

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