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2,870 restaurants closed for health, safety violations

Municipal health inspectors closed down 2,870 restaurants in 2012 for violations of health regulations and standards for food storage.
Spokesman for Jeddah Mayor’s Office Abdulaziz Al-Nahari said, “Most were cafeterias, some were fast-food establishments and some are very famous,” he said, declining to reveal names.
The health inspectors carried out morning and evening inspections that focused on compliance to health regulations concerning food storage and a hygienic handling of food.
Staff that handles food should cover their nose, mouth and head and wear disposable gloves. Some restaurants were storing food improperly by leaving it uncovered. Some reused foodstuffs and some stored expired meat that was unfit for consumption. A fine for such violations can reach SR 30,000 or more, if the violation was repeated.
When a violation is discovered, the restaurant is not warned but immediately closed and it is required to pay a fine. If the food proved to be harmful to health for any reason, the restaurant would be shut down.
The inspectors would hang a sign on the door revealing the reasons for the procedure. The restaurant would have to pay a fine and after rectification of the problem, it would be re-inspected and monitored.
Adel Abdulmunif Makki, member the Hospitality Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the committee is carrying out a study on municipal regulations for restaurants. These would be provided to investors who plan to open restaurants.

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