The Perak Health Department ordered the closure of two belacan (shrimp paste) processing factories in Bagan Serai for committing various hygienic-related offences during a surprise inspection on August 3.
According to State Health Department Director, Dato’ Dr Juita Ghazalie, the factories were given 14 days to clean up their acts and inspection would be conducted after the said period to determine whether they should be allowed to resume operations.
One of the factories processed belacan while the other processed fried onions, groundnuts and desiccated coconut. Workers at one of the factories had not done their compulsory typhoid vaccination.
“We found the belacan-processing factory to be very dirty, especially its floor. Imported raw ingredients were placed on the floor rather than in containers. The same factory committed another offence for packing belacan for another company,” said Juita.
“During the 14-day grace period, health department officers will make visits to the factories to ensure that they comply with the instructions given,” she added.
Since January, the department has conducted inspections on 7036 food premises, among them 369 factories. Fifty food premises, including 15 factories, were ordered closed. They were issued with compounds totalling RM67,190.