Eleven food outlets in Penang were ordered to close down for failing to comply with the regulations concerning cleanliness, said State Deputy Director of Health (Food Security and Quality Division) Ku Nafisah Ku Ariffin.
Among the premises that were ordered to be closed down in the operations on clean food premises yesterday were 'nasi kandar' restaurants, 'nasi ekonomi' stalls, and chicken rice shops, she said.
"Among the cases detected were the presence of vector pests such as dead rats and cockroaches in the food preparation area as well as cooked food being placed in inappropriate areas," she told reporters at a media conference, here today.
She said that the premises concerned were ordered closed within 14 days under Section 11 of the Food Act 1983 and the owners must carry out cleaning work before the premises were inspected again.
She said that 56 premises were inspected during the operation carried out throughout the state, namely 19 in the Barat Daya District, Seberang Perai Tengah (20), Timur Laut (six), Seberang Perai Selatan (seven) and Seberang Perai Utara (four).
Ku Nafishah said that most of the operators of the premises still had low awareness on the requirement to engage workers who possessed the training certificate on food handling.
"Every worker involved in the process of food preparation must have the certificate, not only the premises owners. At the moment, we are merely issuing a warning to those found to have committed the offence," she said.
Members of the public who have any complaint on dirty food premises and defective food products in the state can contact the department at telephone number 04-2017277.