Riyadh city skyline
File photo: Riyadh city skyline at night. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Saudi authorities have barred female workers at restaurants and food stores from wearing false nails, eyelashes and polishes in a precaution to avert food contamination, according to a media report.

In the same vein, the kingdom’s Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing has banned wearing perfumes and after-shave products near exposed foodstuffs such as meat or dairy products to stave off contamination, the Saudi news portal Akhbar24 reported.

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Also prohibited is wearing jewellery, earrings or wristwatches that are not tightly fixed, as they are deemed depositories of bacteria and dirt, and a source of contamination. Wearing one-piece circular earrings in pierced ears or a non-chiseled ring is allowed, though.

The ministry has obligated workers at restaurants and supply stores to abide by high standards of hygienic rules mainly in food preparation areas to limit potential hazards of food contamination and protect clients’ health.

The food handling personnel are, moreover, demanded to refrain from certain practices including smoking, eating, sneezing or touching pre-cooked food without gloves.

The reported measures come after 75 people were recently hospitalised due to food poisoning at a restaurant in Riyadh, an incident that resulted in one death.

They included 69 Saudi citizens and six expatriates, health authorities said.

On April 25, authorities in Riyadh reported detecting several food poisoning cases traced back to a restaurant.

The Riyadh mayoralty said that a report compiled by an epidemiological investigation committee had blamed a food establishment in Riyadh for the incident. The poisoning was found to have been caused by meals served by the outlet.

The mayoralty said it had shut down the main supply facility of the establishment in question and all its branches in Riyadh and the neighbouring city of Al Kharj.