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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Qatar restaurant closed after rodent found in food


By Victoria Scott

Rodent in food at Colombo Restaurant. Credit: MME

Authorities in Qatar have temporarily shut a restaurant in Asian Town after a small animal — possibly a rodent — was found in food served there.

In a notice on its website, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) said that the Colombo restaurant branch in Mesaimeer has been closed for two months for “serving unhygienic food.”

The MME published news of the closure on Feb. 28, along with photos of the dish with the rodent.

Colombo Restaurant. Credit: MME

They also shared images of the outside of the restaurant, which is located near the Doha Cricket Stadium, just outside the Industrial Area.


After Al Raya tweeted the photos this week, some Qatar residents responded angrily, saying that the 60-day closure was not long enough.


Translation: “Only 60 days? They should have withdrawn their license. Send them to prison and fine them.”

Another person lamented that “the punishment doesn’t fit the crime,” while someone else tweeted that whoever was in charge should have been deported.

Violation notices

The temporary closure of Colombo is part of an ongoing campaign by the MME to take a hard line on food establishments that don’t meet basic hygiene and safety requirements.

According to the ministry’s website, 15 other food outlets in Qatar have been written up for food violations in the past month.

All of these were given lesser punishments than Colombo, with periods of full or partial closure ranging from 7 to 30 days.

Improperly frozen chicken at Hot Pot restaurant. Credit: MME

They included:

  • The Olive restaurant in Al Ghanim (closed for 15 days for having expired food in its kitchen);
  • The Al Sadaqa Butcher in Madinat Khalifa (closed for 20 days for preparing food in unhygienic conditions); and
  • The Hot Pot restaurant in Umm Salal (closed for 30 days for unfreezing chickens in an unhygienic way).

You can see full details of all closures (in Arabic) here.

Sri Lankan outlet

According to the popular ratings website Zomato, Colombo serves both Sri Lankan and South Indian food.

Zomato’s visitor score for the Asian Town branch of Colombo is relatively low — 2.7/5 — with one customer commenting that he had decided to give it “1/10 for cleanliness.”

“They had put a liquid soap in a bowl with a spoon,” a Doha resident, Fahad, wrote last month. “They don’t have enough money to get a QR15 dispenser, at least.”

An average meal for two at the outlet costs around QR45, the site said.

Have you eaten at this restaurant? Thoughts?

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