Unhygienic shops closed

A TOTAL of 14 food outlets were closed during a food safety blitz by the Environmental Health Department of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on July 26 in Central, Port Elizabeth.

The programme has been launched to ensure that shops adhere to hygienic food holding, preparation guidelines, valid operating permits and waste disposal contracts.

“Shops which don’t comply with certain criteria, pose a high risk of disease outbreaks like listeriosis and we have to make sure that they have valid business licences, otherwise we have to close them down,” said Councillor Lance Grootboom, MMC for Public Health and Environmental Health sub-directorate.

Out of a total of 39 formal food handling shops, 14 were closed due to non-compliance and unhygienic conditions.

Food was confiscated at five shops due to its being expired.

A total of 58 agar samples were done in order to determine the levels of microbial compliance.

In addition, a total of 11 fines of R2 000 each (R22 000) were issued on shop owners for illegal dumping and not having a trade contract for the removal of refuse.

The most common findings were unhygienic conditions in shops and they did not comply with the minimum hygiene standards of the regulation governing general hygiene in food handling premises.

Most of the premises do not have refuse removal and pest control contracts in place.

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