43% of restaurant, bakery workers medically unfit

Updated 20 September 2015

43% of restaurant, bakery workers medically unfit

DAMMAM: Close to half of the workers employed in restaurants, bakeries and salons were found to be suffering from some illness or the other last year.
According to information provided by the Municipal and Rural Affairs Ministry, appropriate action was taken against 43.7 percent of the workforce and the establishments they were working for as they were medically unfit, local media reported Saturday.
The ministry registered eight types of violations by shops handling food and fines slapped on them ranged between SR200 and SR10,000 in 2014.
There were 9,647 health violations, which shows the level of risk to consumers. Jazan got the highest violation tickets at 15.1 percent, followed by Riyadh at 12.4 percent and Qassim at 9.7 percent.
Violations included serving day-old food items, hurriedly or half-cooked food kept in the fridge, dirty utensils, use of meat choppers to cut vegetables, not wearing proper uniform, not hiding hair while preparing food, long nails and sick workers.
A ministry source was quoted as saying that the government's intention is not to issue violation tickets, but to deter establishments and workers from indulging in wrongful practices.
The source said the fines may be accompanied with a temporary or permanent closure of the shop, and cancelation of licenses.
He said restaurants should not employ workers until they get a health fitness certificate. “However, regular medical tests of employees are necessary because an illness can strike anytime. Barbers are also regularly tested as they deal with blunt instruments and could be infected through blood.”
Mohammad Al-Tieri, the head of Haj, Housing and Services Committee, was quoted as saying that the committee is currently studying the list of the Food Law, especially issues related to inspection and monitoring of commercial establishments, and ensure quality and health safety.

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.