Authority to continue operation against substandard food outlets

Punjab Food Authority seals sweet shops, fines

Zubair Qureshi

Rawalpindi

Punjab Food Authority (PFA) on Thursday sealed a couple of sweetshops in Rawalpindi and surrounding areas over poor hygiene and substandard food items on display there.
The authority carried out operation a day after the traders of Raja Bazar had warned the authority to stop its operation against sale of loose items within seven days.
However, ‘unmoved’ by the traders’ warning the PFA’s food safety teams on the directions of the Director General PFA, Capt (R) Muhammad Usman raided a number of food points and finding insects and flies hovering over food items particularly the sweets sealed a number of sweetshops and imposed heavy fine on rest of them.
In a handout issued to the media, the authority made it clear that in the past it had warned the traders through notices and warnings to follow the PFA directions and maintain the hygiene and other standards however, they didn’t comply with the orders. As a result, the authority fined a total of Rs55,000 on these shops and served a warning to seal their outlets in case the violation is occurred again.
Some of the violations of the safety standards that the PFA teams observed included absence of staffs’ medical fitness certificates, sale of expired items, presence of insects and flies inside the food items and over the stalls, poor cleanliness and sale of substandard and outdated food items.
The teams also destroyed harmful spices and paan items like gutka, expired milk, sweets and other items. A number of bakeries, stores and shops were also issued warning on the occasion. While talking to Pakistan Observer, a senior official of the authority said it would continue its operation despite protest by the traders or shopkeepers. The traders of Raja Bazar on Wednesday had warned the PFA at a press conference at National Press Club’s Rawalpindi office that they would launch protest if the PFA didn’t stop its operation against the loose item traders.

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