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LAHORE: Punjab Food Authority teams on Wednesday sealed five eateries and imposed fines on another two for lack of cleanliness.

According to officials, PFA Director (Operations) Ayesha Mumtaz led a Gulberg Town team which sealed Fazle Haq Dera, Gadhafi Stadium, for overall extremely poor sanitary conditions at the kitchen. There were cockroaches and flies in the dirty utensils while food items were improperly stored in freezers in violation of the instructions given earlier.

Ms Mumtaz also led the Gulberg Town team which sealed the walk-in chiller and meat cold storage of Hospitality Inn, Egerton Road. There were spoiled fungal vegetables and leftover food (chicken gravy, potato bhujjia, channy) in the chiller besides raw meat was kept with cooked and marinated food items. Carbon particles were found on food trays while labeling on certain items was either improper or wrong. The meat cold storage had ponds of blood, no tagging on meat and tail meat stored without hair removal.

Another Allama Iqbal Town team sealed Ghosia Hotel and Rana Murgh Chanay at Hakim Chowk due to poor hygiene at kitchen, having dirty utensils with lots of flies. A washroom was in the cooking area of Ghosia Hotel while there was neither any soap nor detergent to wash utensils. The employees were also wearing dirty clothes and working without head cover and gloves etc.

The team also sealed Iceland shake point, Allah Hoo Chowk, Johar Town due to poor hygiene. There was no soap for hand washing while the employee was not wearing head cover or gloves while working. The utensils were dirty with lots of flies while unlabelled ice cream having no expiry date was kept in unmanaged freezers.

Another team sealed Ashraf Tikka Shop at Gulberg’s Main Market due to extremely poor storage set-up and overall unhygienic conditions of the premises. The team imposed fine on Time n Taste restaurant on Zahoor Elahi Road due to improper storage, dirty drains and cooked food in the freezers.

A Data Ganj Baksh Town team imposed fine on Gourmet Bakery on Abbot Road after finding displayed sandwiches and samosas having no expiry date besides flies inside the rack for bread.

Training session: The Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit on law and order held a training session of restaurant owners in collaboration with the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) on Wednesday to ensure healthy food and profits.

The session was arranged to train and educate restaurants about how to maintain highest sanitation standards in food preparation to positively impact the health of people and increase business prospects.

According to senior member of the unit, Salman Sufi, the government’s vision was not only to ensure provision of hygienic and healthy food to people, but also to equip all restaurant owners with best tools to enhance their businesses.

For this purpose, the chief minister had already assigned the unit to design and implement, in collaboration with the PFA, a Restaurant Grading System and provide trainings of international standards but customised to local requirements.

During the training session, a briefing was also given to restaurant owners on the grading system and basic criteria on which restaurants and other food eateries would be graded. This session was attended by owners, chief executives, chefs of 50 restaurants.

This was the first in a series of training sessions to be organised by the monitoring unit and the PFA for restaurant owners.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2015

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