Eleven shops closed in blitz on eateries

A blitz on eateries in Uitenhage’s central business district was held last Friday and officials from the department of public health closed down 11 shops for violating municipal by-laws.

A total of 36 shops were visited. Officials checked for business licenses, waste-removal contracts, certificates of acceptability, expiry dates on groceries, healthy working conditions, food preparation processes and temperatures of frozen foods.

Dr Patrick Nodwele, the metro’s deputy environmental health director ran the operation with MMC public health head Lance Grootboom accompanied by 35 officials.

“It is all about food hygiene. Should a business not comply it will be closed. When it is a minor issue, shop owners are given 7 day notice to apply for documents needed from the offices of environmental health. Should they not meet the requirements they will be closed as well,” said Grootboom.

During the operation officials came upon groceries that expired in 2015, a toilet inside a kitchen, traces of rodents in a kitchen and unhealthy working conditions.

“These blitz visits carried out across the metro are very successful. Many of the foreigner shop owners are not aware of the by-laws and regulations, thus the blitz is also an awareness for them to know that they have to have the necessary certificates.

“This is a brilliant initiative from the municipality and the department of environmental health,” said Grootboom.

According to Nickie Oliphant assistant director as environmental health, several hot spots were identified in the metro and the outcome of the blitz on eateries was positive.