GEORGE TOWN: A famous restaurant along Chulia Street here has been sealed for 14 days by the Health Department after rat droppings and other gross findings in its kitchen.
The restaurant, which is often crowded with out-of-towners and tourists, has been highly rated on TripAdvisor.
It is also frequented by many VIPs and politicians.
Health inspectors were shocked to find many rat droppings and dead lizards near where food was being prepared and served.
The Health Department issued the closure order for unsanitary premises under Section 11 of the Food Act 1983 at noon on Wednesday.
The notice, issued by Penang Health Department senior environment and food quality officer S Pathmanathan, can be seen affixed on the front door of the restaurant.
The order effectively gives the eatery 14 days (until July 23) to clean up its act.
However, the eatery may be allowed to reopen if the health officers are happy with the cleanliness and changes made when they make the next visit three days after the notice was issued.
Failure to comply may result in the owner being charged in court, where he is liable to a jail term of five years or fine, or both, upon conviction.
Upon conviction, the court may order the owner of the restaurant to publish an advertisement in the newspapers with his name and nature of conviction.
FMT has emailed the restaurant owner for comment and is awaiting a reply.
This is the second time the restaurant has been closed by the health authorities. It was closed, along with two others, once before in July 2018.