KUWAIT CITY, Dec 23: Public Authority for Food and Nutrition has issued a list of fines that will be imposed on food-related violations including violations concerning food storage, hygiene, packaging, health certificates and means of transportation.
However, protests were raised over some of the listed penalties by owners of food enterprises, shops and storages. They insisted that the list equates major food handlers like luxury hotels and storage companies with small scale food traders in terms of the value of fines, to the extent that the latter may end up paying fines exceeding the capital of the entire business. According to the list, the penalties for some of the violations are fines ranging from KD 5,000 to KD 10,000 and/or jail terms for a period ranging between two months and three years.
The penalties for some others are fines ranging from KD 50,000 to KD 100,000, most of which cannot be conciliated, and jail terms ranging between three and six years for those in violation. Violations that attract fines ranging from KD 5,000 to KD 10,000 include dealing with food items that have not been cleared by the concerned authorities despite being suitable for human consumption and meeting the necessary standards.
Violations that attract fines ranging from KD 10,000 to KD 50,000 and/or jail terms of two-three months include dealing with food items that have not been authorized and fail to meet the necessary standards, and selling of food items that do not meet the necessary standards.
The penalties for selling food items which are not suitable for human consumption or which are declared as prohibited or “Haram” will be fines ranging from KD 50,000 to KD 100,000 and jail terms ranging from three years to six years.
Fines for violations related to packaging, handling of food items, health certificates and lack of clear description of the food items on the packaging will range from KD 500 to KD 1,000. All of the abovementioned violations could also lead to temporary closure of the commercial premises or suspension of license for a period of not more than three months.
Repetition of the violations could lead to cancellation of licenses. Violations related to transportation of food are categorized under those that can be conciliated. The fines for such violations will range from KD 100 to KD 500.
These violations include unauthorized means of transportation of food items, and transportation of food items via means that fall short of the standard specifications set by the concerned department of Kuwait Municipality. Other violations in this regard include lack of proper uniforms or attire of food handlers, smoking while handling food items, delay in presenting inspection card when inspectors ask for it, transporting food items with expired license, or committing fraud.
By Abdulnasser Al-Aslami Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies