192 food outlets temporary closed last year, majority from Industrial Area
A total of 192 food outlets faced temporary closure last year due to violation of health standards and regulation. From these, 171 were in the Industrial Area.
From the 31,935 inspections conducted by Doha Municipality at eateries and food outlets across the city, about 3,597 violations were reported. A total of 5,528 tonnes of food were destroyed after being declared unfit for human consumption, The Peninsula has reported.
Stricter food laws
Last month, HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued a new food law (Law No. 4 of 2014) that ensures stricter action against violating food outlets including a 60 day closure.
Article 32 of the law states:
“Without prejudice to the punishments specified in this Law, the place/store where a violation is committed may be closed by a decision issued by the director of the concerned municipality, the director of the concerned department of the Supreme Council of Health and the director of the concerned department of Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Specifications. The closure shall be for a period of not more than 60 days.”
Additionally, violators are now granted only a 10-day period to raise a petition against the closure to the Minister of Municipality, the Minister of General Health or the Minister of Environment. However, if there is no response within 10 days, that means the complaint has been rejected.
Closure of food outlets in Industrial Area is a major set back for low-income workers residing in the area. In an earlier JustHere article, Al Million taxi drivers had complained about difficult it was to search for cheap places to eat or buy food from when Baladiya shuts down grocery stores or eateries.