Photographs courtesy of MMUP
A number of restaurants in Doha have been temporarily closed by the authorities in recent days after they were found to be selling food made of moldy ingredients and bug-infested meals.
Just before the weekend, a branch of the popular Filipino/Chinese restaurant Chowking in Dar Al Salam mall in Abu Hamour was ordered to shut for 10 days by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) after inspectors found rotten vegetables in its kitchens.
And an outlet of the Italian chain of eateries Vanellis in Muaither has also been closed for 10 days by the MMUP for “violating the provisions of the food law.” Photographs posted on the ministry’s website and on Twitter show a takeaway bowl of pasta with insects inside it.
Meanwhile, a family of four was taken to hospital after getting food poisoning from eating a meal of chicken, rice and salad from an unnamed restaurant on Commercial Street in the Old Airport area, the Peninsula reports.
Soon after eating the food, the restaurant customers began to feel ill and were taken by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital’s emergency department, where they were treated for vomiting, diarrhea and mild fever.
Doctors treating the patients said they had also dealt with four other patients suffering from food poisoning who had recently eaten at the same restaurant, the newspaper added.
In February this year, amendments to the food law gave greater powers to authorities to fine and close down venues that break the law.
The MMUP, in partnership with the relevant municipality, can order the temporary closure of a restaurant, cafe or food outlet if it has has violated food safety and hygiene regulations.
In recent months, the ministry appears to have increased the number of spot checks and inspections it undertakes in a bid to crack down on erring establishments.
It has also started naming and shaming them on its website, while on Twitter, it publishes photographs of restaurants it has closed (although it does not name them there).
Last month, a branch of the popular Turkish fast-food restaurant Marmara Istanbul was ordered to close for up to two months after several customers reportedly suffered food poisoning from eating there.
After eating at the Bin Omran outlet near TV roundabout, a woman who was seven months pregnant started suffering stomach pains and was rushed to hospital, where she prematurely gave birth to her baby.
Others reported suffering food poisoning symptoms including intense nausea and diarrhea, which required hospital treatment.
Images posted online by the MMUP showed moldy chopping boards, unclean worktops, BBQ grills blackened with caked-on food deposits and food lying around the surfaces.
Those who wish to report a restaurant or food shop they believe has violated the food laws can send a Twitter message to the MMUP (@albaladiya), with their contact number and the name of the establishment. Customers are also asked to keep a sample of the food and the receipt.
Mmmm, extra cockroach protein.
Well done the authorities. Keep it up. Lets hope a system is in place that both spot checks and follows up on transgressors.
Name and shame is the game. Had take away from Vanellis on Friday – all is well on the other end.
Sample of the food?? How do I do that if one eat’s in. Would a sample of my P##[ do after I have been violently ill and hospitalised!
We often point out the failings of the various government departments in Qatar but in this case we should commend Baldiya for their actions. Spot checks are being carried out and the perpretators being punished, just the way it should be. They are also naming and shaming which many had called for.
I just wish the Traffic Police could learn from this and more people might be alive rather than singing with the choir invisible…..
Absolutely right, if only the Traffic Police were as vigilant Doha would be a much more pleasant place for all of us … the only defence of these eateries is that even getting fresh food from the supermarkets in Doha is a real challenge
Vanellis is not Italian, like saying that Casa Paco is Spanish. Easy to label these eateries with names that sound attractive but are pure junk disgusting food in reality. Good initiative from Baladiya.
Next you will be telling me that those people serving in La Paloma are not Mexican…..
no they are not in fact; the only latino from the restaurant I have ever met was from El Salvador, haven’t been there for ages. so I don’t know now. Last time there it was 2010
Sarcasm gets lost so easily on the internet.
yes sometimes 😉
2nd time Vanellis has been shut down in a year! Might need a more permanent closure.
There is nothing Chinese in Chowking. btw Good Job Baladiya !
You are correct, the cook is probably Nepali or Indian 🙂
And here I was thinking it was a Filipino Chain Restaurant. But hey, it’s so much easier to blabber and comment in a clueless fashion.
Do you really think that the fried chicken in Popeye’s are really prepared and fried by Popeye the sailor man? LOL!
No, but I think a Filipino chef would cook Filipino Food. Were you dropped on your head at a young age perhaps?
This is a great initiative by the Health authorities(Baladiya). Well done!
I have come across stale fish in more than one restaurants. Some years back I complaint to one popular fast food chain for grilled chicken on their stale chicken. I think the authorities should carry out surprise check on restaurants kitchen and also they way they store the foodstuffs, mainly meat and fish. They have to create a process to ensure that such items are (tamper proof) identified and tagged for their production and expiry dates.
Let me predict how ObservantOne might comment on this article, “Well too bad the baladiya can’t shut down the slave factory where the poor souls are exploited, or slave trading bribers of 2022! I left Doha for happiness! Happiness I tell you! Enjoy being slaves of the slave trading pigs!!!”.
Well said. You forgot to mention that it very strange that Qataris valued enforcement of food standards more than human lives on road? But then again they are one of if no the most obese nation on earth, so little wonder the greedy pigs.
Well, not everyone can lead exciting happy lives like yourself where they can get to spend their free time poring over news articles on a country they dislike, then writing the same paragraphs repeating the same points day after day. Your nation must be proud to have a productive individual like you as a citizen, clearly you are contributing to the cause:
Indeed, the Municipality is doing good to have these things in-place — but am just wondering how come many small cafeterias/eateries are not being checked or penalized???? well in fact, their shops are really filthy and they don’t even have food safety measures????
And some of these restaurants are the ones following the municipality standards but they get all the attention from the Municipality???
Before we go and blame the restaurants lets look at what we are dealing with and why isn’t there any quality control system in place. The root of all issues is that if someone is charged hundreds of thousands of riyals to rent a place where there are not many customers (as in Doha) and the employees get paid horrible salaries then of course people will cut corners! Why would any business owner care about the customer service? specially when its franchised! The owner only cares about what’s going in their pocket, they think that just because they are paying high rent their part is done there and they don’t need to care about the employees or the customer service. Who cares? It’s a famous restaurant outside Qatar so it will be famous here also, right?
Why shutdown for only 2 months ? Can they bring back child of that pregnant woman ? Strict punishment should be there, shutdown for atleast 1 year, plus jail and heavy fine.