Red notices were issued to vendors and they were advised to improve the standard of their services before the next inspection
By H.M. Dharmapala and Kusal Chamath
A large stock of food unfit for human consumption was destroyed during a raid on catering houses, hotels and retail boutiques in Ratmalana MOH Division while the traders who had violated food safety regulations were warned.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jayalath Gunatilleka said red notices were issued to vendors and advised them to improve the standard of their services before the next inspection.
He said the hoteliers concerned were warned to improve physical resources and the standards of catering and to inform the PHI of the area within seven days or else legal action would be taken against him.
He said he carried out the raid on public complaints on insanitary state of hotels, bakeries and catering services in the area.
Dr. Gunatilleka said in several hotels raw food such as beef, chicken and fish had been stored with other food items including ice cream and desserts.
He said a stock of used cooking oil which had not been discarded, row potatoes and rice infested with worms and weevils, a stock of Kottu, mushroom, rotten big onion, date expired soft drinks, biscuits and cooked meals unfit for human consumption were destroyed.
The public health inspectors instructed the employees on storing food items in shelves, fridges and deep-freezers in keeping with the food safety regulations.
“Food items had been stored without the least concern about the sanitary regulations in rooms infested with rats, cockroaches, flies and geckoes while the state of kitchens in several hotels had not been cleaned for a long time and it was shocking to find that vegetables and herbs were washed with water brought from toilets adjacent to the kitchen. The workers in hotels were wearing dirty clothes and most of them were not physically fit for employment as hotel workers.” The PHIs said.
The raids were carried out by Administrative PHI H.L.W. Perera, area PHIs H.S. Kaldera, Mayura Kumaratunga, W.P. Rashmika, D.P.J.I. Nuwan Madura, G.H. Chandana, H.G.N.C.B. Meegahakotuwa and R.P.T.S. Rajapakse on the instructions of Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Mayor Navalage Standly Dias, Chairman of the Health and Sanitation Committee Priyantha Sahabandu and MOH Dr. Jayalath Gunatilleka.