The Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) inspected 12 sports clubs throughout the week and took legal action against six of them for maintaining their kitchens in an unhygienic manner in violation of food safety regulations.
Health Department’s City Food Safety and Hygiene Promotion Unit’s Dr. Subash Mendis said only two out of the 12 sports clubs had maintained kitchens up to the standards.
“We took legal action against six of the sports club kitchens while the others were given instructions to change the conditions at the kitchens. One of the main offences was that many kitchens were infested with rats. Rat droppings were seen in most of these kitchens. In some clubs, garbage was piling up without being disposed,” he said.
He said some of the freezers in the kitchens were stored with raw and cooked food items together which is a grave violation of food safety regulations.
“A common occurrence was leftover fried food items including fried meat that was stored in the freezers without even being labelled, for future use. In one sports club kitchen, over 10 kilos of such fried chicken was found. Though the chefs of some club kitchens wanted to upgrade the standards, the management had failed to support them,” Dr. Mendis said.
He said the club kitchens were inspected under the AH800 standard by the Public Health Officers (PHIs). “Many kitchens were within the categories of ‘C’ and ‘D’ which is not commendable,” he said.
He also said some of the kitchens had fried food items in extensively reused oil which is a grave health hazard. “Using extensively reused oil could lead to heart problems as well. We urge sports clubs not to do this,” he said, adding the CMC would continue to inspect the rest of the sports clubs as well in the coming days. (Lahiru Pothmulla)