GEORGE TOWN, Sept 10 — A premises used as a kitchen to cook the famous bamboo beriani rice in Batu Uban here has been ordered to close for 14 days after it was found to be filthy.
Penang State Health Department’s Food Safety and Quality Division Environmental Health officer Mohd Wazir Khalid said it conducted a raid on the premises after receiving complaints from members of the public.
“During the inspection, we found the floor of the premises to be wet, there were no drainage covers, the surroundings were dirty, the raw materials were rotten and smelly and even the bamboos used to cook the rice were mouldy and infested with cockroaches,” he told reporters after conducting six raids under Ops Sapu here today.
He said a team was set up to monitor the premises for two weeks and found the cleanliness at the premises to be unsatisfactory and unsuitable for cooking.
He said the beriani rice would be cooked at the raided premises first before being sold at a roadside stall around the Jalan Pantai Jerejak area here.
“We also received information from the State Land and Mines Office saying that a notice to demolish the premises had been issued. It was found that the trader had been preparing food on a piece of land that did not belong to him and also never received approval from the local authorities and Ministry of Health (MOH) to operate in the premises,” he said.
Meanwhile, the other five other raids were focused on the industrial area located in Batu Maung and targeted eateries and sundry shops run by mostly foreigners.
“Upon inspection, we found rat faeces, cockroaches as well as being dirty. We also issued compound notices to the owners of the eateries for selling ‘El Diablo’ brand liquor, which we also seized,” he said.
According to him, the brand is not permitted to be sold in Malaysia and is believed to have been smuggled in as the liquor was once linked to a fatal methanol poisoning case last year.
Overall, five of the six premises were ordered to shut down for 14 days while 16 compound notices valued at RM15,280 were issued by the MOH and Penang City Council (MBPP) under Section 11 of the Food Act 1983, Food Regulation 1985 and Food Hygiene Regulations 2009. — Bernama