The newly appointed Chief Medical Officer of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Doctor Ruwan Wijayamuni yesterday summoned the owners of 13 eateries found as unhygienic at Olcott Mawatha in Fort and warned them to entirely upgrade the eateries up to standard by October 3.
He said stern legal action would be taken against the food eateries if the owners didn’t clean and upgrade the facilities within a month.
“All the serving areas should be air-conditioned. Water dispensers should be installed so the customers could have easy access to clean water. They should establish stainless steel kitchenettes and also should have sanitary facilities including clean restrooms. If they were failed to upgrade their shops by October 3, I will take a court order to close them,” he told the owners.
He said that a six month of imprisonment could be brought upon the owners because they have violated the food act by conducting the eateries at a grave statue.
He further instruct them to store cooked and uncooked food items separately, not use firewood for cooking, to cover the gas cylinder by a garbage bag at night, use pesticide, to tile the entire floor and only to use water from the mainline.
Dr. Wijayamuni advised the owners to change their attitude and focus on the food safety of the people without focusing only on the profits.
“I will not stop inspections from here. I have already made arrangements to inspect food eateries at the Galle Face Green. All the eateries from the smallest one to the five star hotels are being inspected for food hygiene,” he said.
He said all the cooks, helpers at the kitchen, food servers and the manager should be given uniforms with a cap. “This has to be done immediately,” doctor said adding the CMC Health Department would conduct a-one day course for food handlers on food safety.
He said an identity card will be given to those who take part in the course following a medical certificate. He said the eateries would be graded once they were renovated.
He advised area medical officer doctor Subash Mendis and Chief Food Inspector Lal Kumara to inspect the eateries weekly on their upgrading process. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Doctor Rathnawardhana was also took part in the occasion.
Owners of the eateries agreed upon the faults highlighted by the CMC and agreed to upgrade them within a month.
Dr. Wijayamuni said not only he would take legal actions if the owners failed to upgrade eateries, he would give pictures that shows poor statues of the eateries to the media along with the name of the eatery. (Lahiru Pothmulla)