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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?

MME

A “small animal” was apparently found in food served at the Colombo restaurant in Mesaimeer.

Authorities in Qatar have temporarily shut a restaurant in Asian Town after a small animal – possibly a rodent – was found in food served there.

In a notice on its website, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) said that the Colombo restaurant branch in Mesaimeer has been closed for two months for “serving unhygienic food.”

The MME published news of the closure on Feb. 28, along with photos of the dish with the rodent.

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The exterior of the restaurant

They also shared images of the outside of the restaurant, which is located near the Doha Cricket Stadium, just outside the Industrial Area.

Outrage

After Al Raya tweeted the photos this week, some Qatar residents responded angrily, saying that the 60-day closure was not long enough.

Translation: “Only 60 days? They should have withdrawn their license. Send them to prison and fine them.”

Another person lamented that “the punishment doesn’t fit the crime,” while someone else tweeted that whoever was in charge should have been deported.

Violation notices

The temporary closure of Colombo is part of an ongoing campaign by the MME to take a hard line on food establishments that don’t meet basic hygiene and safety requirements.

According to the ministry’s website, 15 other food outlets in Qatar have been written up for food violations in the past month.

All of these were given lesser punishments than Colombo, with periods of full or partial closure ranging from 7 to 30 days.

MME

Improperly frozen chicken at Hot Pot restaurant

They included:

  • The Olive restaurant in Al Ghanim (closed for 15 days for having expired food in its kitchen);
  • The Al Sadaqa Butcher in Madinat Khalifa (closed for 20 days for preparing food in unhygienic conditions); and
  • The Hot Pot restaurant in Umm Salal (closed for 30 days for unfreezing chickens in an unhygienic way).

You can see full details of all closures (in Arabic) here.

Sri Lankan outlet

According to the popular ratings website Zomato, Colombo serves both Sri Lankan and South Indian food.

Zomato’s visitor score for the Asian Town branch of Colombo is relatively low – 2.7/5 – with one customer commenting that he had decided to give it “1/10 for cleanliness.”

“They had put a liquid soap in a bowl with a spoon,” a Doha resident, Fahad, wrote last month. “They don’t have enough money to get a QR15 dispenser, at least.”

An average meal for two at the outlet costs around QR45, the site said.

Have you eaten at this restaurant? Thoughts?

Heidi Donat/Flickr

Graffiti in Qatar

A new dramatic video is urging Qatar residents to keep the country clean by refraining from spray-painting absurd or offensive messages and images in public spaces.

This week, Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) launched an awareness drive about the “uncivilized behavior.”

On Twitter, the ministry said “Writing on walls is prohibited and against our moral and traditional values.”

It showed a brief video of a boy spray-painting a wall, who then finds himself covered in the black paint he was using to deface property.

“You mar your country, you mar yourself,” the video warns.

Legal graffiti

Not all graffiti in Qatar is illegal.

The government appears to be discouraging residents from marking up walls and other property without permission.

Chantelle d'Mello / Doha News

Art installation at Qatar Academy

This is different from sanctioned graffiti projects by artists, such as el Seed’s murals on Salwa Road and artwork painted by students at Qatar Foundation.

Do you think graffiti is a problem in Qatar? Thoughts?