Nine restaurants ordered closed in Mandeville
The Manchester Public Health Department has ordered closed a total of nine food establishments in the parish between last week and yesterday as they were deemed to be putting the public at risk.
Among those closed are all five located at the Manchester Shopping Centre Food Court, which was being shut down for the second time in the last three years.
Two restaurants situated at the popular Super Plus Centre Food Court have also been closed, along with two others within the parish's capital.
"It is a serious problem, as we have recognised that we have a number of facilities now that we have to be taking action against," chief public health inspector for the Manchester, Charmaine Palmer-Cross, told The Gleaner.
"Once we recognise that a facility will put the public at risk any at all, we order them closed immediately. And once we close a facility, it is indefinite, as it depends on why we closed them. What we ask them to do is to correct the breach and then reapply."
While unwilling to reveal the exact reason behind the closures, Palmer-Cross shared that all nine were shut down for similar reasons following an assessment of the premises as part of the process for the annual renewal of their 'food-handling establishment certification'.
"We closed them because they are operating with some unsanitary conditions," Palmer-Cross said. "One of the first things we close these facilities for is whether they have cockroach infestation, rodent infestation or they have a sewage or wastewater issue. So these are the main things that would warrant immediate closure."
The Manchester Shopping Centre Food Court was first closed in May 2015 after it was discovered that the centre's sewerage system had been causing effluent to run into common areas.
And the public-health inspector explained that if the centre has to be closed a third time, the current business owners will lose their licence.
"They are allowed up to three closures; after the third one, then based on the regulations, their licence has to be withdrawn, so they might then have to change all the owners," Palmer-Cross stated.