A total of 175 restaurants in Kuala Lumpur have been ordered to close by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) after their operators failed to meet regulations on cleanliness.
DBKL Health and Environment Department director Dr Hayati Abdullah said 3,453 premises were checked up to May this year.
"So far, we have issued 608 compound notices to restaurant operators for various offences," she said during a special operation to check the cleanliness at such outlets in Lebuh Ampang recently.
During the operation, 20 officers from the department inspected nine premises in the area, of which three were immediately ordered to shut down, while two were issued compound notices under Section 21B of the License Food Establishment (WPKL) by-law 1985.
"The three restaurants had cockroaches and rats in the kitchen and food storage areas, unhygienic practices and unsatisfactory food preparation. Some of the workers were also not properly attired.
"Compound notices were issued to two restaurants because they had dirty kitchen floors.
"One of the restaurants was ordered to close for a minimum of five days as they were found to be a repeat offender," Dr Hayati said, adding they were ordered to shut down during another operation in March this year.
She added that the restaurant operators would be allowed to resume operations only if DBKL was satisfied with the cleanliness of the premises.
"We are focusing on areas like Lebuh Ampang, Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Bangsar because they are tourist spots and many of these restaurants are highlighted in guidebooks.
Also at the operation were senior health officer Datin Dr Noor Akma Shabuddin and Lembah Pantai and Seputeh assistant senior environmental health officer (sanitation) Tong Foo Kong.