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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Qatar authorities shut down 85 food outlets in Industrial Area

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All photos courtesy of MMUP

Government officials have ordered the closure of 85 food establishments in Qatar’s Industrial Area for violating various health requirements, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) has announced.

As part of an ongoing inspection campaign to improve health and hygiene standards in eating outlets across Qatar, members from the health control department of Doha Municipality, accompanied by Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya) officers, conducted spot checks on dozens of premises in the Industrial Area this week.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Facilities closed by the authorities included refreshment stalls selling tea, juice, sandwiches and snacks; as well as food stores and industrial kitchens that provided mass catering, due to “the violation of health requirements and the standards of food handling and trading,” the MMUP said in a statement.

Many of these eateries were operating from rooms inside labor camps and apparently did not have the requisite licenses.

The Peninsula reports Mohamed Al Sayed, head of food monitoring at Doha Municipality, as saying that while the operators were fined, no legal action was taken against them “for they were simple workers.”

Al Sayed added that there were no reported cases of food poisoning.

Safety campaign

The latest closures follow a similar crackdown launched this time last year, when 175 cafes and food establishments were closed for similar reasons.

Closures
Closures

In the last year, the MMUP has also secured commercial operating licenses for 155 cafeterias in the Industrial Area.

But until new, licensed premises can be set up in the place of those that closed, many workers in the area may find it harder to access affordable food.

And as Qatar’s semi- and unskilled workforce continues to grow in the coming years, there will be continued pressure on authorities to provide more shops, cafeterias and food storage facilities that meet health regulations.

Mostly brought over on single status from South Asian countries, these workers are required to live in dormitories in labor camps in and around the Industrial Area as they are not permitted to live in residential areas of Doha.

But the infrastructure struggles to cope with the increasing resident population in the district, with reports of sewers flooding, poor road conditions and regular flooding during rainy periods.

Food watchdog

This week’s closures are part of an intensified campaign in Qatar to take action against food establishments that flout the regulations, a move led by the MMUP and the Supreme Council of Health (SCH).

Also this week, the SCH said it is planning to set up a single public authority that would be responsible for all aspects of food safety in the country.

The final plans for the Qatar Public Authority for Food Safety are currently being drawn up and will be submitted to the Council of Ministers, Director of Public Health Mohammed Hamad al-Thani is quoted in Qatar Tribune as saying.

Sara Lee 3 - Twitter - Baladiya
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Under the current law No. 8 of 1990 Regulation of Human Food Control, the SCH, MMUP and Ministry of Environment are jointly responsible for ensuring establishments comply with regulations.

At the same time, the SCH is working to introduce an electronic system that would pre-register and approve food products prior to their import, al-Thani said.

Recently, a number of food items have been withdrawn from the supermarket shelves in Qatar for failing to meet standards. Last week, the MMUP announced that Loyd Grossman Bolognese sauce was withdrawn over fears it contained red wine.

And in October this year, three popular brands of pre-packaged deli meats were also pulled as they didn’t have appropriate halal certification.

Thoughts?

16 COMMENTS

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Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago

Well done MMUP. Atleast some government department is enforcing their rules.

Akbar
Akbar
6 years ago

CHECK ON RESTAURANTS AND FAST FOOD FRANCHISE AS WELL

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Akbar

ESPECIALLY THOSE PLACES THAT ADVERTISE IN CAPITAL LETTERS

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

YES LIKE KFC

Expat_QTR
Expat_QTR
6 years ago

Good Job. 🙂

EducX
EducX
6 years ago

I would also recommend inspecting the hygiene of hairdressers’ equipment cleaning methods. I’ve heard a lot of mothers in Doha buying own hairdressing equipment (every item needed) to take to hairdressers with them for fears their children/husband getting infections …again (they should learn to cut it themselves, probably eventually will). I know my husband got a scalp infection after visiting the hairdresser. Apparently a common problem in Doha.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  EducX

Was that that he told you…..

Abdulla Al-shibani
Abdulla Al-shibani
6 years ago
Reply to  EducX

What in the name of gods green earth are you talking about. Ive lived her for all my life been to the barber hundreds if not thousands of times cheap one that only cost 10 riyals and the ones that cost 300 and i never got an infection from anyone of them

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Under the Kafala reforms we will make it compulsory for wages to be paid into employees bank accounts and now we have congratulated ourselves shutting down these dens of evil we will make it compulsory for all labourers to eat at 5* hotels. Those that violate these provisions for their own safety will be deported to North Korea regardless of where they come from.

Jamal Al-Yafei
Jamal Al-Yafei
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

well its better to close them , you should go and see the red crescent Hospital/clinic in Industrial area .. all the cases are food poisoning … at least he couple of ones who will reopen will know that they cant sell dirty and unhealthy food and have better Hygiene ..

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

Looks like a job well done. The way things are stored and kept at such tiny little shacks at the Industrial area is a serious health issue. Most of this tiny little joints are dirty and infested with cockroaches, ants and flies and sometimes they even recycle expired food items to the poor labourers out there. More such inspections are what is needed to maintain the health and well being of the people around that place.

Gokul
Gokul
6 years ago

Though it is a good move from the legal point of view it is definitely not something to cheer about for those low income workers. Restaurants to maintain certain standards will have to spend money, which they will have to charge their customers. In this case the customers being low income workers they are going to suffer. Govt can operate subsidized cafes/eateries aimed at this section of the society.

That will be a win win situation for all.

Jamal Al-Yafei
Jamal Al-Yafei
6 years ago
Reply to  Gokul

i understand what you say , but still its not an excuse for whatever establishment to not meet the standards .. its really not difficult , there a massive amount of equipment being resold at low price from big dealerships in Qatar .. 1 fridge for example will be sufficient for 5 years minimum if the operator cleans it at least once per month …

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Gokul

Sorry that’s no excuse .. Cheap food doesn’t have to be dirty… These places are absolute filth

Ethos
Ethos
6 years ago

And how about the hygiene in the dormitories?

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

Any alternative arrangements during the closure?, So let them(those who stay at Ind area and depended on these 85 food outlets) now go to Doha by Karwa bus at their own expense and have their dining in good hotels, 3 times a day.

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