Food Lovers Market remains closed in Soweto

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JOHANNESBURG, January 14 – The Food Lover’s Market store in Diepkloof, Soweto – where a live rat was filmed inside a fridge, will remain closed until the City of Johannesburg’s environmental health department is satisfied that it has met required standards of cleanliness.

Councillor Mpho Phalatse on Monday said: “Following the inspection this past week, the outlet has been closed since Sunday and will remain closed on Monday to allow for a deep cleaning process and fumigation.”

Environmental health inspectors from the City said the outlet has been monitored since it opened in 2013.  Investigations and monitoring mainly focused on rodent infestations.

“Our environmental health inspectors in the region said they noted that the store did not comply with a number of food safety regulations and that remedial actions were recommended,” said Phalatse.

The City was alerted to the anomaly last week when a video of the rat in the fridge went viral on social media.

Phalatse said after the City became aware of the problem she instructed health inspectors to investigate the matter and give her a detailed report.

She said her department would not shy away from shutting down any outlets if they place the lives of residents at risk.

Phalatse said food safety would not be compromised and all similar outlets regardless of their size have to comply.

“I would like to really commend the environmental health practitioners who once again upheld the city’s service with pride objective and put the health of residents first. Anyone operating a food outlet in the City of Johannesburg must adhere to food safety regulations.,”‘ said Phalatse.

“This is not negotiable. We will continue to act without fear or favour against all who transgress the city’s bylaws until such transgressions are a thing of the past.”  (ANA)