By Duncan Mlanjira
Tourism and Hotels Board of the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Tourism has closed down Sana Food Court in Lilongwe for failure to comply with minimum standards in accordance with the Tourism and Hotels Act, CAP 50:01 of the laws of Malawi.
The food store, which is part of Sana Supermarket, is situated close to Kamuzu Central Hospital Roundabout and the premises shall remain closed until the Tourism and Hotels Board re-opens it.
In an interview, Director of Tourism Isaac Katopola said the shortfalls that they discovered at the public food outlet include lack of satisfactory hygiene in the kitchen where food is produced, greasy walls and doors.
Katopola also said lack of fresh coat of paint in some back areas are some of the shortfalls as well as serious stains in workers change showers.
“Amongst others, its dining restaurant’s carpet is worn,” Katopola said.
He added that they were tipped by the public of the shortfalls but it was also a follow up on earlier annual inspection recommendations.
“We appreciate it when the general public offers bonafide tips since they are the users and have first hand experience.
“Tips on what happens behind the scene like in the kitchen are also very welcome.”
He said minimum standards for operation of every Tourism Enterprise are listed and provided for in the Tourism and Hotels Board regulations and for restaurants they range from kitchen hygiene, to provision of uniforms, to separation of dry and fresh supplies storage, amongst the long list.
“Copies of regulations are available at the Dept of Tourism offices. According to the Tourism and Hotels Act, penalties on breach of regulations of enterprise include verbal warning, moratorium granted of days to month to rectify the shortfalls or immediate closure with time period to rectify or complete closure,” he said.