KARACHI: At least six restaurants, one bakery, and a pickle factory have been sealed in various districts of the province over their failure to adhere to coronavirus-related standard operating procedures (SOPs), a spokesperson for the Sindh Food Authority (SFA) said Friday.
Following raids and inspections at some 200 outlets, the aforementioned eight were also fined Rs300,000, the spokesperson said. The operations in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Larkana, and various other districts were carried out on SFA Director-General Amjad Ali Laghari’s directives.
The SFA teams inspected bakeries, restaurants, grocers and kiryana stores, and milk shops, around Sindh to ensure the coronavirus-related SOPs were being followed both at the outlets and for home deliveries.
The situation at various food points was found to be “deteriorating”, the spokesperson explained, following which the SFA reprimanded the outlets and issued warning notices to them as well.
Food outlets that offer home delivery services were also inspected and issued stern warnings to heed the SOPs. The SFA teams provided a list of safety precautions against the coronavirus and stressed on adhering to principles of hygiene.
Speaking to Geo.tv, the spokesperson said all six sealed outlets were from Karachi’s South District. Eateries were usually sealed either for a major violation of the SFA’s regulations that may cause food poisoning or failure to adhere to most of the guidelines.
Many outlets that the SFA sealed had cleanliness issues — specifically at the food preparation sites — or their employees were found to be violating kitchen attire guidelines, the spokesperson added.
Giving an example of the pickle factory, the spokesperson informed Geo.tv that chemical drums were being used to store ingredients and the kitchens had uncovered washrooms in the same room.
SFA DG Laghari said such operations and raids, as well as other related measures, would be sped up soon and made more frequent. In addition, legal action as per the body’s law would be taken against those found violating the guidelines.
After the coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan, the SFA has advised restaurants and other food outlets to ensure availability and use of hand sanitizers, employees — especially those working in kitchens — to wear gloves, hairnets, and face masks, and prefer online payments.