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Doha News

Marmara Istanbul, closed by MME

For the third time in three years, popular Turkish takeaway Marmara Istanbul has been closed by Qatari authorities for violating health regulations.

The branch in Fereej Kulaib, near TV intersection, was shut by the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment (MME) for 10 days in mid-August.

In a statement on its website, the ministry said the restaurant was trading in “harmful food contaminated with radioactive (microbes) (parasites) (pesticides)…”

The notice did not specify which of those infractions the restaurant committed.

Doha News

Marmara Istanbul, closed by MME

As of yesterday, Marmara Istanbul remained closed to the public, its doors and windows plastered with stickers from the Health Control section of the ministry.

These state: “This establishment is closed due to violating municipal laws and regulations.”

Food poisoning

This is the third time in as many years the eatery has been shut down by authorities for food violations.

In October 2014, it shut for two months after several customers – including a pregnant woman who gave birth prematurely – reported food poisoning after eating there.

At the time, the MME published photographs of the inside of the restaurant. They showed what appears to be dirty and moldy chopping boards, unclean worktops, BBQ grills blackened with caked-on food deposits and food lying around the surfaces.

Baladiya

An image taken by inspectors of Marmara Istanbul.

A subsequent court case found the restaurant and five of its employees guilty of selling food unfit for human consumption.

In May 2015, a misdemeanor court ordered the restaurant manager and four employees to be jailed, fined and deported, and for the establishment to close for another three months.

The restaurant closed at that time, then appealed the conviction, but lost in a verdict issued in February last year.

It was then closed again for a month to serve out the rest of the sentence.

Other closures

In the past week, another four eateries across town were also shut down by Baladiya officials for breaking hygiene and food laws.

Al Shourook Modern Bakery on Khalifa Street in Markhiya was closed by inspectors on Aug. 22 for two months. “Unhygienic conditions” were cited in documents on the MME’s website.

Doha News

Al Shorook Bakery, closed by MME

The store, near TV intersection, currently has 16 closure notices stuck across its glass facade.

And Indian-Chinese cafeterias Bye Bye Garden and Top Cornich, both in the Souq area, also ordered closed for 30 days each on Aug. 17, also for having unhygienic conditions.

Affordable Indian eatery Sky Restaurant in Musheireb was closed for the same reason on the same day for 15 days.

The closures are part of an ongoing campaign to enforce safety and hygiene standards on restaurants, grocery shops and warehouses storing food in the country.

Have you eaten at these outlets? Thoughts?

Ministry of Municipality and Environment

Closed Thai Smile branch at Barwa City

A branch of the popular restaurant Thai Smile has been temporarily closed by Qatar’s food inspectors for 45 days.

The eatery, which is near Lulu hypermarket in Barwa City, was one of nine shut down by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME/Baladiya) this month.

This is the second time in 18 months that the same branch of the restaurant has been closed by officials.

Shabina S. Khatri / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Last February, it was shut for a month after being found to have expired food.

Officials conducting spot-checks in mid-June found that the restaurant had flouted food safety laws.

Thai Smile will remain closed until the end of July, according to a notification in Arabic on the ministry’s website.

A photograph published on the site shows official closure stickers plastered on lights and other interior fittings of the eatery.

Food Master

Meanwhile, a cafeteria in Al Wakrah has also been shut until mid-August for having food in unhygienic conditions.

Ministry of Municipality and Environment

Closed Food Master cafeteria

Food Master, which sells affordable Indian and Chinese fare, was ordered to close for two months after inspectors visited last month.

Photographs on Baladiya’s site show moldy vegetables and a filthy freezer caked with what appears to be blood and juices from raw meat.

Ministry of Municipality and Environment

Freezers at Food Master

The 60-day closure is the toughest penalty the ministry can impose on erring establishments.

Enforcing rules

These eateries are among nine outlets that were shut by ministry officials last month for flouting the country’s food regulations.

The others were closed for between five and 20 days and have since reopened.

The closures are part of an ongoing campaign to enforce safety and hygiene standards on restaurants, grocery shops and warehouses storing food in the country.

Inspectors have spotted many violations in recent months.

In March for example, they closed Colombo restaurant in Mesaimeer after a small animal – possibly a rodent – was found in food there.

MME

Rodent found in food at Colombo Restaurant

The MME has the power to close down establishments for up to two months and to name them on their website and in newspapers, although this is usually only done in Arabic.

Have you eaten in any of these restaurants? Thoughts?

MME

Seized meat

A whopping 2,500kg of meat taken from a store in the Industrial Area has been confiscated by authorities in a raid.

According to local media reports, the employees of the warehouse had been repackaging expired meat so they could continue selling it.

This is a violation of the food law, which was updated in 2014 to grant officials more power to punish outlets that store and sell food unfit for human consumption.

MME/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Municipal inspectors have since destroyed the meat and the case has been transferred to the “concerned authorities,” the Peninsula reports.

Name and shame

The updated food law also allows the government to name and shame erring establishments. However, for now this is only in Arabic and only on the Ministry of Municipality and Environment’s website.

And authorities can now also dole out harsher penalties for restaurants and food outlets breaching health and hygiene regulations.

However, some people appear to want those penalties to get even stiffer.

MME

Rodent found in food at Colombo Restaurant

Last month for example, a Sri Lankan restaurant was closed for the maximum possible number of days (60) after serving a rodent in a meal.

News of the violation sparked an outcry among some residents who called for Colombo’s permanent closure.

Thoughts?