All photos courtesy of MMUP
A branch of a popular Egyptian restaurant in Qatar has been closed down by municipal health inspectors for two months for apparently serving food in unsanitary conditions.
The Muaither outlet of Gad restaurant on Furousiya Street adjacent to Aspire Park was shut down after officials from the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (Baladiya/MMUP) found that the food was being stored in filthy containers, and that meat was left uncovered.
Announcing the closure in Arabic on its website, the MMUP has also published photographs taken by its inspectors doing spot checks of the restaurant.
They show multiple trays of meat left uncovered and outside of the freezer, an exhaust hood that appears to be thickly covered in dust and grease, bags of ice that appear to have blood smeared on them and an open bag of discolored sausages.
One of the photos also features the front of the restaurant, its doors and windows bearing the official closure stickers issued by the health inspectors.
The eatery has been shut by Baladiya for 60 days, the maximum length of time it can order closures.
Gad’s sister branch in Matar Qadeem/Old Airport remains open, and an employee there confirmed the closure of the other branch to Doha News.
The MMUP is one of a number of public bodies charged with monitoring Qatar’s food establishments to ensure they comply with basic health regulations.
It regularly undertakes spot-checks of grocery stores, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants to ensure food quality is maintained.
Last February, amendments were made to the food law last February 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 on its website.
A bakery in Al Wakrah was the first outlet to be publicly named by the ministry in April last year, and since then it has regularly published the names, locations and usually some photographs of erring establishments.
While many of the cafes and restaurants are small, local establishments, inspectors have also ordered the closure of well-known venues.
Last month, a branch of Pizza Hut in Umm Salal was shut for 15 days. A week before that, part of the Orient Pearl restaurant on the Corniche was closed for 15 days after videos were circulated online of stray cats roaming around in the restaurant’s shawarma and fast food kitchen, located outside the main restaurant.
As well as inspecting for hygiene of the kitchen and prep areas, inspectors also check food to make sure it has not expired.
Well-known eateries which have been sanctioned recently by MMUP for selling out-of-date food include The Diplomatic Club in West Bay, which was ordered to close its Le Grill restaurant for 10 days, and the Millennium Hotel in Al Sadd, which was told to partly close for 15 days.
Have you eaten at Gad? Thoughts?