43% of restaurant, bakery workers medically unfit

Updated 20 September 2015
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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.


FaceOf: Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Mesher, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Cameroon

Updated 37 min 14 sec ago
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FaceOf: Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Mesher, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Cameroon

Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Mesher has been serving as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon since 2013. 

Al-Mesher has served at several Saudi embassies around the world. He has also served as the charge d’affairs in Venezuela and Brunei between 2001 and 2003.

He was appointed the charge d’affairs in Gabon in 2011.

Al-Mesher has attended several regional and local conferences and forum covering various topics including combatting terrorism. 

He also represented the Kingdom at UN’s 54th session in New York in January 2000 and at the 13th summit of the Arab League held in Riyadh. 

He was also a member of the administrative management inter-ministerial committee to open information offices in Egypt, America, Japan, France and Germany. Al-Mesher was also part of a team assigned to assess the performance of the Kingdom’s information offices worldwide. 

Al-Mesher holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in diplomatic science from the Diplomatic Studies Institute in Riyadh. 

On Saturday, he attended the inauguration ceremony of a Grand Mosque in Cameroon’s Marwa city with other Saudi personalities. The 2,700-square-meter mosque, which was funded by Saudi Arabia, can accommodate 5,000 worshippers, including 400 women in a separate prayer hall.

Another Saudi-funded project, a new extension to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Islamic Center, was also opened on Thursday. It includes nine classrooms, an auditorium, a women’s prayer hall, a large canteen, and the center’s newly renovated mosque.