GEORGE TOWN, Sept 26 — The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) can now shut down eateries that fail to comply with cleanliness requirements.

The MBPP full council meeting today approved the proposal to give MBPP enforcement officers the authority to shut down eateries in the city that fail to meet all cleanliness requirements.

MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said this is to ensure that all eateries in the city are clean.

“We find that issuing compounds was not effective and previously, we had to hold joint operations with the health department as they only had the authority to shut down dirty eateries,” he said.

MBPP can shut down dirty eateries under the MBPP 1991 bylaws for food establishments and it is effective from November 1 onwards.

Yew said this meant the city council can conduct its own operations to check on eateries without involving the health department.

“This means we can spread out the enforcement teams from different agencies to cover more premises during operations,” he said.

MBPP licensing councillor Wong Yuee Harng said there will be a marking scheme for all eateries and those that failed to meet at least 50 per cent will face closure until they clean up their premises.

“We can close an outlet for a minimum of three days and the owners can submit appeals and they can reopen once they pass the marking scheme by achieving over 50 per cent,” he said in a press conference after the MBPP full council meeting today.

He said an outlet can be shut down for a maximum of 14 days to clean up their premises after failing the cleanliness scheme.

Wong explained the marking scheme is a fixed format that has a list of criteria that all eateries must comply with including the preparation of food, how it was stored and the cleanliness of the premises.

“The eateries will be immediately shut down if we find rats, cockroaches and flies or rat droppings in the premises,” he said.