The restaurant that was temporarily shut down yesterday. The food control authority said it will name and shame serious violators in order to help customers make a choice. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) said it temporarily closed down a restaurant on Tuesday as the inspectors found many health hazards, including overflowing and stinking drainage pipes in the kitchen.

The hygienic conditions in the Madinat Zayed branch of Al Ibrahimi restaurant were so bad that the authority decided to immediately order its temporary closure in the interest of public health and safety, said a statement issued by the authority yesterday.

A senior official told Gulf News that such serious violations posing health risks to customers demand immediate closure, without issuing any warnings. "On such situations, inspectors do not need to follow the routine procedure of issuing warnings to give them a chance to rectify mistakes," Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, said.

"We were shocked to find that the restaurant, which we understand is a popular eatery, was functioning in violation of all norms of public hygiene," he said.

The inspectors destroyed 85 kg of food items on the spot for they were found unfit for human consumption. This included 66 kg and 19 kg of chicken and meat respectively kept for grills.

Offences

The statement listed some of the violations recorded in the inspection report. Overflowing and stinking drainage pipes in the kitchen, presence of cockroaches, insects and bugs, signs of presence of rodents in the basement kitchen, large quantities of meat and chicken products emitting bad smell, de-freezing food items in unhealthy ways that cause contamination, utterly unhygienic environs and unclean equipment, insufficient lighting and ventilation in cooking areas, broken ceramic in cooking areas, mixing of eggs, vegetables and food packets in the refrigerator and storing vegetables under the sink are among the many violations.

The owner of the restaurant told Gulf News that he reopened the outlet yesterday morning after rectifying all the problems pointed out by the authority. Khan Zaman, the owner, said the closure was unwarranted as there were no warnings. "And there were not so many violations as mentioned by ADFCA because there was a misunderstanding on the part of inspectors. What they said ‘the meat and chicken products emitting bad smell' is the normal smell of Indian and Pakistani spices," he explained.

"The inspectors found some minute problems which we were not aware of," Mohammad Iqbal, manager of the restaurant, said.

He claimed that there was not even a single complaint against the restaurant during the past 25 years.

The official said, although the restaurant was reopened, the authority published its name as part of the policy of naming and shaming serious violators. "Even if the temporary closure is for a few hours, we will publish the name because we want to give a choice to customers [from where to eat]," Al Reyaysa explained.

  • 70 outlets inspected on Monday
  • 4 violations
  • 63 warnings
  • 219 kg of food destroyed