GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s famous Nasi Kandar street restaurant Line Clear has been ordered to close for two weeks after federal and municipal health officers found less than savoury items such as rats – dead and alive – and cockroaches at the eatery.
Its competitor next door, Yasmin Restaurant, was also ordered to close, as officers found rat droppings on canned drinks during the joint sting inspection conducted by the health department and Penang Island City Council (MBPP) at Penang Road this morning.
Even the popular and crowded Sup Hameed Restaurant down the road was not spared, with health department officers fining them RM1,000 for having a dirty kitchen.
MBPP also issued a RM250 compound to the restaurant for not using a functioning grease trap and RM90 for failing to vaccinate three workers.
Ong Ah Teong, who is MBPP’s licensing and public health standing committee alternate chairman, said the eateries had violated Section 11 of the Food Act 1983 by failing to meet acceptable cleanliness standards.
He said the eateries have been ordered to thoroughly clean up their premises and undergo a second inspection by the council to determine if they are suitable to be re-opened for business.
Meanwhile, Line Clear boss Sahubar Ali, 59, said operating a restaurant at a back lane ran the risk of having pests that was hard to control.
“We clean the place daily. But this is an open space and it is hard for us to control rats.”
Said to have begun from a makeshift pushcart stall in the 1950s, the Line Clear restaurant today occupies an alley that leads to a public toilet.
The food there is popular among locals and tourists alike, with the eatery having been featured by celebrity chefs like Anthony Bourdain in their programmes.