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April 3, 2015

Polo Ground eatery fined for expired food, lack of hygiene

Lahore

April 3, 2015

lahore
Expired food, chocked sinks and unhygienic conditions in the kitchen and food storage area have exposed high quality standards claimed by the management of a top restaurant located inside the Polo Ground, Race Course Park.
The shocking truth was unveiled after a team of the Punjab Food Authority led by Food Safety Officer Nadeem Haleem visited the restaurant on Thursday evening. The team faced resistance from the management but it managed to enter the kitchen for inspection. In the meantime, the legal adviser of the restaurant came and asked the PFA team not to ask much questions from the kitchen staff.
PFA officials said the kitchen the eatery, which was considered one of top restaurants, was similar to that an ordinary road-side eatery, dispelling general perception that restaurants serving the elite follow high standards of hygiene and food safety.
According to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), restaurants/vendors are bound to store meat and related products in designated storage areas. But in this case food items, including meat, were found in the freezers of the restaurant, PFA officials said, adding the Food Safety Officer also seized a packet of garlic cheese with March 31, 2015, as expiry date.
According to PFA’s SOPs for food storage, every user is bound to label and date all food as soon as it is received at the storing point. No such rule was followed by the restaurant, Food Safety Officer Nadeem Haleem told this reporter.
“The sinks in the washing area were chocked with sewage overflowing,” he said, adding the exhaust fan was tar-laden. He said soap for washing utensils and crockery was also missing and a dish washer was cleaning plates with tap water only. He said that he also took the sample of oil being used for cooking and sent both garlic cheese and oil for testing to the public analyst.
When contacted, restaurant manager Ali Hashim expressed complete ignorance of the visit by the PFA team and

imposition of a fine of Rs 25,000. He said left at 4pm after duty but could not answer when asked about his presence in the restaurant at 7:.30pm. He, however, advised the scribe to talk to the restaurant owner or the legal adviser on the issue.
When contacted, restaurant legal adviser Kamran said the management would challenge the Food Safety Officer notice before the PFA Director General, who is the appellant authority. He claimed the restaurant’s kitchen was clean and it observed high standards of hygiene.