KL restaurants look clean on the outside, filthy inside: Health director

Dirty and dangerous: Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah showing the cockroaches found near food at a restaurant in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR - Many of the restaurants in Kuala Lumpur looked clean from the outside but checks during an operation against typhoid showed that food preparation areas in most of them were deplorable.

Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya deputy state health director (Public Health) said the dirty outlets included several well-known restaurants.

"The front of the restaurants look good but in areas where the food is prepared, it is very dirty," he told The Star after the Ops Kepialu (Typhoid) press conference yesterday.

Dr Wan Mansor, who led the three-day operation involving 230 health officers from the Health Ministry and 60 officers from Kuala Lumpur City Hall, said the most busy of the 177 outlets inspected were found to have neglected hygiene and cleanliness.

"This is probably due to the could-not-care-less attitude of the operators," he said.

Asked how people should choose a clean restaurant, he said they should choose outlets that were graded "A" or "B," used under a system initiated by local authorities.

The Health Ministry's inspectorate and le­­gislative unit head Ideris Mohamed said among the horrors discovered were rat faeces in the kitchen and cockroaches crawling on ingredients and utensils.

He said drainage covers were not closed and rats were also seen coming out of them.