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Monday, November 29, 2021

Thai Smile branch shut for breaching Qatar’s food laws

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By Doha News Team

Closed Thai Smile branch at Barwa City. Credit: MME

A branch of the popular restaurant Thai Smile has been temporarily closed by Qatar’s food inspectors for 45 days.

The eatery, which is near Lulu hypermarket in Barwa City, was one of nine shut down by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME/Baladiya) this month.

This is the second time in 18 months that the same branch of the restaurant has been closed by officials.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Shabina S. Khatri/Doha News

Last February, it was shut for a month after being found to have expired food.

Officials conducting spot-checks in mid-June found that the restaurant had flouted food safety laws.

Thai Smile will remain closed until the end of July, according to a notification in Arabic on the ministry’s website.

A photograph published on the site shows official closure stickers plastered on lights and other interior fittings of the eatery.

Food Master

Meanwhile, a cafeteria in Al Wakrah has also been shut until mid-August for having food in unhygienic conditions.

Closed Food Master cafeteria. Credit: MME

Food Master, which sells affordable Indian and Chinese fare, was ordered to close for two months after inspectors visited last month.

Photographs on Baladiya’s site show moldy vegetables and a filthy freezer caked with what appears to be blood and juices from raw meat.

Freezers at Food Master. Credit: MME

The 60-day closure is the toughest penalty the ministry can impose on erring establishments.

Enforcing rules

These eateries are among nine outlets that were shut by ministry officials last month for flouting the country’s food regulations.

The others were closed for between five and 20 days and have since reopened.

The closures are part of an ongoing campaign to enforce safety and hygiene standards on restaurants, grocery shops and warehouses storing food in the country.

Inspectors have spotted many violations in recent months.

In March for example, they closed Colombo restaurant in Mesaimeer after a small animal — possibly a rodent — was found in food there.

Rodent found in food at Colombo Restaurant. Credit: MME

The MME has the power to close down establishments for up to two months and to name them on their website and in newspapers, although this is usually only done in Arabic.

Have you eaten in any of these restaurants? Thoughts?

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