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Only fifty restaurants pass CMC quality test

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Out of the 580 registered restaurants in Colombo, only 50 of them have been given registrations from the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), following a stringent quality checks as part of new project which began earlier this week.

“Since the inception of this task, we’ve been able to give only 50 restaurants our seal of approval,” said Dr. Ruwan Wijeyamuni, Chief Medical Officer of the CMC. “The details of the registration on a plaque bearing the certification number are to be prominently displayed at the restaurant.”

Dr Wijeyamuni noted that restaurants were being graded on five criteria, which included the cleanliness and hygiene of both the kitchen and serving areas. The standards and source of the ingredients as well as raw materials that are brought into the restaurants and the water source which should only be Pipe-borne water from the National Water Supply and Drainage Board. He also added that all staff members should be clad in uniform, while the kitchen staff would have to wear the chef’s whites including the toque.

“There were instances when our officers had to warn the restaurant for gross negligence and failing to meet health and safety standards,” he said. “For those restaurants, we have given them time to make amends before we can issue the registrations.” He cited that the restaurants will have to renew their license on a yearly basis while the CMC would also conduct impromptu raids periodically.  He also added that in lieu of World Health Day which was commemorated on April 7th, the CMC along with the Ministry of Health and WHO have launched a project which will oversee and register canteens.

“Over the years with much focus being devoted to restaurants, we felt that we’ve neglected the canteens and eateries where a lot of school-children as well as employees of both private and government institutions go for their daily meals,” he said. “We have started to inspect and register them, since we felt that many have mushroomed over the years and serve food that is unhealthy as well as unhygienic to unsuspecting consumers.”

“Each year, these canteens will have also to renew their registrations. This is being done not to penalize the smaller eateries but to ensure that the food served is clean, hygienic and the place is in keeping with our standards,” he said. “We invite consumers to revert with complains on our hotline 011 2676161 and we assure them that we will follow up.”

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