Stringent laws to punish food outlets in Qatar await approval
Laws prescribing stricter punishment for eateries and stores that flout health and safety regulations are awaiting government approval. The provisions of this draft law will include some new additions as well as some amendments to the existing Law No. 8 of 1990:
– Food outlets in breach must remain closed for 60 days rather than just 30 days
– They must be allowed only a 10-day period to petition against the closure, as opposed to the current 15-day period
– The Ministry that implements the closure must put up a notification with the reason at the outlet
– Finally, on its website, the Ministry must also cite the name of the violating establishment along with the reasons for violation
Implementing such stringent laws may be justified in light of recent events such as the closure of a fake meat company and how restaurants and smaller food outlets around the country flout rules repeatedly.
Last year, several such places were shut down. Some such as the popular teashop on the Corniche have not since reopened. Many other popular restaurants such as Vapiano at The Gate mall was shut down temporarily prior to Ramadan, reasons for which were ambiguous.
The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning is responsible for ensuring that eateries around the country meet health and hygiene standards. Reasons for closure of establishments serving food are most commonly related to health and hygiene.