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Do not ‘employ’ workers without health cards in food outlets – Bid to safeguard Expats

KUWAIT CITY, March 3: Director of Inspection in Farwaniya Governorate Administration at Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN) Sattam Al-Jalal stressed the need to approve salary increment for inspectors as an incentive and encouragement for them to work, especially since they work in an environment here they may be exposed to infection, reports Al- Rai daily. He said their role is significant in preserving the health and safety of citizens and residents.

Director of Inspection in Farwaniya Governorate Administration at Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN) Sattam Al-Jalal on an inspection tour

Al-Jalal called on the owners of food-related establishments not to employ labor force without obtaining health cards, which confirm the safety of the workers to deal directly with food especially in restaurants. He demanded that the issuance of health cards must be under the authority of PAFN, and not Ministry of Health.

Al-Jalal disclosed that the Joint Committee for Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh is still continuing its work in March, indicating that the authority’s role is distinct in cooperation with other parties. He explained that citations were issued for 66 violations, along with 54 decisions and pledges to amend the status, and 15 facilities were closed

The administration destroyed 1.4 million kilograms of food that were deemed unfit for human consumption, issued 1,354 citations, obtained 248 pledges, and closed 46 administrative establishments during the year 2019. The administration also issued 702 health licenses and renewed 2,930 licenses during the past year, as well as issued 1,494 health licenses and renewed 150 health licenses for mobile groceries.

The officials sent 4,706 samples to Ministry of Health laboratory, where examinations revealed that 4,108 samples among them were safe. Al-Jalal revealed that the Farwaniya Inspection Department has about 150 employees including 130 male and female inspectors, indicating that the administration needs to increase their numbers due to the large size of the geographical area, the large number of shops, and diversity of markets.

He declared that the department covers more than 17 districts within the Farwaniya Governorate with diverse establishments between commercial, investment, industrial and craftsmanship. Al-Jalal stated that “consumer is the eye of the administration” and complaints are received round the clock every day.

He said, “Do not submit malicious complaints. The administration deals with the complaints in a serious manner, but it is evident that most of them are malicious and the causes of these complaint are either personal or intended to blackmail. Such an attitude is totally rejected.” Al-Jalal urged for issuance of legislation that punishes those who submit malicious complaints or extort owner of the facility. He revealed that many owners of facilities or employees refuse to submit a complaint against the complainant in order to ward off problems despite their right to do so, adding that there are complaints that were proven true and violations were issued against owners of the facilities. Al-Jalal called for the need to educate consumers on how to choose healthy food, conduct proper examination of fish, meat and chicken to check the validity, and check the level of hygiene at stores.

He insisted that consumers have the right to examine the commodities, fruits and vegetables, even if the box is covered with plastic, and they must know how to examine fish and shrimp from texture, color of the gills, appearance of the eye, and color of the outer body of the fish or shrimp.

Al-Jalal appealed to owners of the food establishments not to leave their establishments in the custody of their employees without supervision, as they will also have to face legal responsibility if any violation, pledge or caution is registered against the establishment. This is especially since some workers do not inform the sponsor in the event of a warning so that the consequences of registering a violation would have been corrected if the inspection department was visited.

He stressed the need to ensure establishment documents meet the requirements and are valid, and they have an approved copy of the commercial license, license of PAFN, and civil card of the sponsor, adding that no food establishment should engage any worker who is not in the establishment of the facility or has an expired health card.

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