Two eateries' dirty little secrets

A NAUSEATING stench greeted Penang Island City Council's Public Health Department officers when they visited two coffee shops in Macallum Street in Penang.

The drains at the back of the premises were clogged with food waste and oil. Hardened yellow sludge were stuck on the walls of the drains.

While patrons carried on with their meals, officers inspected the premises and found lizard and cockroach droppings below the stove in the kitchen of one of the coffeeshops.

Councillor Ong Ah Teong said the first outlet was slapped with the maximum compound of RM570 (S$186).

"The eatery was given the maximum amount for having a dirty floor, using dirty water to wash vegetables and wrapping raw meat in newspapers.

Their workers had not been given typhoid injections as well.

"The whole shop is in a filthy condition and the workers are the culprits behind the clogged drains in the area because there is no grease trap or proper apparatus to separate the oil," he said yesterday after visiting the coffee shops which were operating next to each other.

Ong said the operators of both outlets were given two weeks to 'buck-up' and clean the dirty premises.

"They were also told to upgrade their kitchens, failing which the state Health Department will be alerted and if necessary, shut down the premises," he said.

He added that the visit was made following complaints received from flat dwellers living above the coffee shops.

The council, he said, could only issue compounds to dirty eateries as only the Health Department had the authority to shut them down.

Ong said the second coffee shop was handed a RM100 compound for not having separate containers for cooked and raw meat.

He also said the flats' management was responsible for clearing the clogged drains.

"The management of the flats have been informed and they have requested for some time to solve the issue," he said.