Food Inspectors Target Offenders

Food Inspectors Target Offenders Food Inspectors Target Offenders

In the framework of the Norouz (Iranian New Year) Health Inspection Program (Feb 20-April 3), an estimated 570 tons of spoiled food was found and destroyed by the Health Ministry.

The ministry’s environmental health protection involves a variety of sectors from food and water to waste, wastewater and public places like swimming pools, hotels and resorts. A month before the Norouz holiday season (19 March-1 April) the ministry began stricter supervision with 4,500 inspectors in 1,700 teams surveying public places, IRNA reported.    

Soon after the project was launched, 460,000 places were inspected and almost 7,000 violations reported to judicial bodies. It is reported that 1,200 violating businesses were shut down.

Head of the Norouz Health Program Headquarters, Reza Gholami told IRNA that the food industries, including restaurants and food cooking and distribution centers, were the main focus of the latest oversight.

Of the 570 tons of demolished food, stale cooked food, expired dairy and canned food and unhygienic meat products topped the list, said Gholami adding that the Veterinary Organization should be held responsible for the decaying meat in markets and restaurants.

While visiting food industries, the inspectors looked into several factors including the personal hygiene of the workers, sanitation of the environment and equipment, waste management, conditions of warehouses and raw material and the process of cooking and serving food.

The most common violations were lack of personal hygiene, keeping cooked food for too long, inappropriate storage and using raw material with expired dates, said the official adding that the conditions of buildings had improved over the past few years.

In response to how people can report poor and substandard services, Gholami said that everyone in the country can report on health malpractices in public centers by calling 190 and 1490.

“Reports will be registered and urgent cases will be inspected in six hours and others in 24 hours and action will be taken immediately to stop the unhealthy practices,” he said.