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62 violations of health regulations registered

Some 350 health and hygiene inspection visits have been made in by the Health Affairs Department since the beginning of Ramadan. The campaign resulted in registering 62 different violations with fines totalling QR45,600. Further, 125kg of food products not good for human consumption were destroyed, in addition to 492kg of fish and 23 animal carcasses which were infected with various diseases, a report in the local Arabic press said. Saad Abdulla al-Muhannadi, director of the Health Affairs Department at Al Khor and Al Thakhira municipality, told local Arabic daily Al-Watan that during the first 10 days of Ramadan the department had asked five food facilities to sign affidavits of compliance because they did not strictly follow health and hygiene conditions. Also, some commercial outlets were issued warnings for not removing food products 15 days prior to expiry date. They also take random food samples from restaurants and cafeterias and send them to the Central Laboratory to make sure that these products are free from any pollutants and safe for human use. He explained that during Ramadan the department has a quite different way of functioning. Health inspectors are divided into work teams very early in the morning. In the morning, veterinarians inspect fish market, the slaughterhouse and the chicken companies to take sample and ensure the safety of the products. Some inspectors go to the food outlets that were granted temporary licences. In the evening, inspectors conduct sudden inspection tours at commercial outlets and barber shops. “Inspectors exert great efforts during Ramadan to protect the health of all people in the country,” he pointed out. The department has three inspectors, five veterinarians and some external officers in the areas that pertain to it. It conducts sudden as well as regular inspection campaigns on both small and big food facilities including the hotels that fall in its jurisdiction. In case of violations, penalties may range from fines, temporary administrative closure of the facility, and referral to the court to determine the adequate penalty, which may amount to withdrawal of license in case of repeated violations.