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News


CMC warns of star class health hazards

By Vindya Amaranayake
The Colombo Municipal Council has issued a warning to several leading star grade hotels in Colombo after failing a sanitary inspection, especially in the food preparation areas, conducted by the medical officers, The Nation learns.
Chief Medical Officer for the CMC Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said these hotels are given time until December 1 to refurbish their food preparation areas and train their staff on hygienic practices. “Most of these hotels look beautiful from outside but when you walk into the kitchens; it is entirely different,” he said. He added that some of the hotels are in the process of refurbishing at the moment and the CMC would like to give them an opportunity to rectify their misgivings. “We understand that this process is extremely costly to the hotel administration, but it has to be done in order to ensure public safety,” he said.
In the mean time, the CMC is planning to take legal action against 40-50 leading restaurants and eating places within the Colombo city. Kariyawasam said that most of these places use outdated food items. “Most of the imported food items like sausages, cheese, fruits and marinades are outdated. This is our main worry. Although the consumers may not feel immediate consequences, the long term repercussions of eating these foods can be severe,” he added. He also said that among other pressing concerns is the use of either unwashed or old utensils, and added that this problem has to be immediately addressed as these utensils carry bacteria and other forms of infectious fungi.
Since February this year CMC had filed action against more than 292 restaurants and eating places in Colombo. However, Kariyawasam is sceptical about any changes to the prevailing situation as the outdated legal structure does not enable the authorities to properly execute their duties.
“We have filed action against these places under the Food Act but the culprits can get away by paying a measly maximum penalty, which is only 5000 rupees. It is the time to get the Act amended. My recommendation is to increase the penalty at least up to 50 000 rupees,” he said.