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'Plastic Halwa': Oman shuts down shops for flouting health rules

Viral: Omanis outraged as video shows workers pouring boiling hot Halwa mix into plastic containers

Image Credit: Twitter
“Plastic Halwa": Consumers said that mixing boiling hot food in plastic container can be toxic.

Muscat: A sweet shop in Oman’s northern Rustaq province has been shut down after a video went viral showing workers using plastic buckets to make Halwa —an Omani sweet.

The video, which showed workers pouring the boiling-hot mix into plastic containers, outraged Omanis who shared and retweeted the video on social media.

Users said the methods used by the shop jeapordised public health as consuming plastic is toxic and can even cause death.

Under the hashtag “Plastic Halwa”, they called for intensified inspections of Halwa shops across the country.

Ahmad Al Hinai, a twitter user, said that “it’s scary and disgusting”.

Mohamad7, another user, called on the Omani authorities to name and shame the halwa shop, citing that consuming plastic could lead to cancer.

The Ministry of Health has boosted inspections of halwa shops and factories following the incident — many shops had been closed or fined for not adhering to health standards.

What is Halwa

Halwa is a traditional Omani sweet, which is made of sugar, saffron, nuts, rosewater, cardamom, and eggs.

It is often served during celebrations and religious occasions, and is widely popular in Gulf countries.

Omani halwa comes in different flavours, of which the most popular is the "sultani" kind, made of a special kind of sugar.

Other popular varieties are the muscati, tamr (date), and haleeb (milk) varieties.

Prices range from 4 Omani riyals ($10.40) to 12 riyals per kilogramme, depending on the ingredients used and their origin.

-Fahad is a freelance journalist based in Muscat

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