43% of restaurant, bakery workers medically unfit

43% of restaurant, bakery workers medically unfit
Updated 20 September 2015

43% of restaurant, bakery workers medically unfit

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.