GAM closes down 354 violating foodstuff shops in Ramadan

Published August 31st, 2010 - 10:05 GMT

Greater Amman Municipality (GAM)’s Health and Vocational Department Director Dr. Mervat Mheirat stressed that the Municipality is committed to protecting its citizens by making this Ramadan safe and food poisoning free, noting that in order to achieve that, citizens should become partners in the responsibility of protecting public health and raising awareness.

She also warned citizens against buying handmade juices during Ramadan, since they don’t comply with safe manufacturing requirements, and are not subject to health control adding that GAM’s efforts to track down and follow vendors of such juices are not enough as they remain very popular among people.

“Most likely, these handmade juices are on high demand by citizens this Ramadan because it comes in summer,” she said, adding that among the most popular juices in Ramadan are carob, licorice, tamarind, kamaruddin (apricot), orange and lemon.

She also said that GAM’s Health and Vocational Department closed 354 shops since the beginning of Ramadan for violating sanitary requirements.

GAM followed up on 58 complaints received from citizens concerning health violations in the first half of Ramadan. With its 7940 field inspection tours in foodstuff stores and centers, GAM issued 871 warrants and 975 warnings while shutting down 89 shops and restaurants. 

Meanwhile, destroyed foodstuff amounted to 12.5 tonnes, whereas 12000 liter of juices and liquid substances were also destroyed.

In addition, Mheirat said that GAM tightened its control procedures on food centers with growing consumption of food in Ramadan. 

GAM, in coordination with the Jordan Food and Drug Association (JFDA), adopted a number of strict procedures to insure food products validity.

“The Municipality is carrying out an intensive control program on food validity as inspection starts in the morning up till Suhoor on shifts. The inspection focuses on popular products in Ramadan to avoid any sanitary violations,” she stated.

Mheirat also confirmed that GAM intensified its inspection visits to consumption centers, malls, restaurants, kitchens, tents, bakeries, and food warehouses, in addition to the butcher shops, public markets, and street vendors.

“We are focusing on inspecting samples of certain products that are highly demanded in Ramadan, such as dates, nuts, juices, meat, packaged soup, yogurt and dairy products, salads, pickles, pastries, and sweets,” she noted.

According to Mheirat, during the second half of the month, inspection is tightened on the main ingredients for making sweets, ensuring proper storage, in addition to inspection visits to bakeries and patisseries.
GAM formed a joint team with JFDA to focus on Al Wehdat and Al Hussein camps, Saqf Al Seil, Souq Al Sukkar, Al Nasr, Hai Nazzal, Raghdan, and Sahab.

The Municipality has set a uniform for health and vocational inspection units in Amman, the number of which amounts to 210, as to prevent false impersonation. The new uniform has GAM’s logo on it, the job designation in blue for health inspectors, while in brown for vocational inspectors. 

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