Punjab Food Authority giving unsanitary restaurants an easy time of it

A food safety officer requesting anonymity said the Punjab Food Authority in Pakistan had received a complaint that an assistant food safety officer had received Rs50,000 bribe from the restaurant owner so he could keep his restaurant open. At the time, the PFA director general had constituted a three-member committee to probe the complaint which was later shelved, he said.

The food safety officer said this wasn’t the only restaurant that had reopened before the stipulated period. The SOPs regarding duration of closure and required permission from the PFA DG are being flouted openly, he said.

In the first week of 2015, Food Safety Officer Nadeem fined a restaurant in GOR-I for unhygienic conditions anPunjab Food Authorityd lack of soaps in the workers’ washrooms. According to the SOP, the restaurant should have been sealed but it was fined Rs25,000 instead.

PFA spokesperson Fareeha Anwer said the SOP had been amended a little but it was being observed to the letter. She said a written permission from the DG used to be mandatory in order to de-seal restaurants, but now an operations deputy director can also issue permission for it.