THE dirty state of restaurants in Selangor has people questioning the current enforcement system by local councils.
Those caught are now allowed to reopen their shops after cleaning is done, even if it is within a day or two instead of two weeks as stipulated by the Food Establishment Licensing By-law 2007.
This has not gone down well with the public who feel sterner action is needed.
Petaling Jaya resident Lum Weng Fook said allowing restaurants to reopen as soon as they cleaned up was not a good idea.
“They should be taught a lesson. Cleanliness is not something you can compromise on,” he added.
Lum believes local councils lack sufficient enforcement officers to conduct spot checks on eateries.
“Imposing fine and closing the offending premises for a few days is not enough. There has to be follow-up to ensure the problem does not recur,” he emphasised.
In his opinion, some of the worst culprits are in Taman Mayang, Taman Mayang Jaya, SS2 food court and shops in Bukit Mayang Emas.
Afiqah Mohammad Ariffin left her meal at a restaurant in Shah Alam untouched after a rat was spotted.
She was enjoying a quiet evening with friends when she saw a waiter running after “something” that turned out to be a Malayan shrew (cencerut) which escaped into a drain nearby.
When she was leaving, Afiqah saw dead cockroaches under the table.
“I was surprised they were allowed to operate despite the state the restaurant was in. Restaurants in Malaysia are generally not clean,” she said.
Afiqah opined that enforcement in Selangor was lacking.
“It is sad to see people being so relaxed and eating in unhygienic restaurants like this,” she added.
M. Nantha, 33, said the number of rats running around his neighbourhood in PJS 7 had increased in the last year.
There are two restaurants near his house and the back alleys are in a terrible state.
“The place looks really dirty, anyone should think twice before eating there and yet it is packed with customers every day.
“Rubbish is also not disposed of properly and rats can be seen everywhere,” he added.
Nantha said it was unfortunate people continued to patronise dirty eateries and ignoring the importance of proper hygiene at places serving their food.
“It is not worth jeopardising your health by eating in dirty restaurants. If we all take a stand to stop going to such places, we may have cleaner restaurants in the future,” he added.
Residents of Subang Jaya claim rats can be spotted any time of the day in SS15, the township’s commercial centre.
During a recent visit to the area in question, StarMetro found several streets littered with rubbish and the drains were clogged.
In SS19, the drains were filled with discarded food and other items as well as gunk made up of stale cooking oil and grime.
USJ 11 resident M. Singam said eateries found breaking the regulations should not be allowed to reopen immediately.
“The shop should be sealed for at least two weeks to allow health inspectors to check and determine the premises is not contaminated. Simple cleaning may not get rid of all the bacteria present,” he pointed out.