(MENAFN - Arab Times) Near the end of summer, the phenomenon of food poisoning remains a major threat to citizens and residents of Kuwait due to excessive consumption of junk food during the season of high temperatures.
Doctors define food poisoning as "symptoms that occur due to eating contaminated foods with toxic substances or microbes and are inferred by intestinal disorders, vomiting or diarrhea or both, accompanied by neurological or physiological disorders and high temperature." Food safety employee in the Food and Market Control Department in Kuwait's Municipality, Jassem Mohammad Abdullah, told KUNA on Wednesday that "the municipality is carrying out inspection campaigns in restaurants on regular basis, and according to the complaints we receive from citizens to monitor various restaurants and markets." During these campaigns, inspection procedures take place to ensure the validity of restaurants' health licenses, workers' health certificates and compliance with the hygienic standards, the cleanliness of tools, foods and restaurants, he added.
Regarding the difference in the number of food poisoning cases between summer and other seasons, Abdullah said that such cases along with the complaints abound especially in summer, but there is wide variation in statistics due to the many cases, which are not being reported.
Abdullah added that "penalties are imposed against restaurants violating rules, varying according to the violations monitored during inspection, noting that penalties may consist of shutting down the restaurant in cases of grave breaches, paying fines or a warning when the violations are minor.
In addition, he stressed that these penalties are sufficient enough when applied strictly to curb violations committed by restaurants.
Furthermore, Abdullah concluded that coordination between the municipality and the Ministry of Health is ongoing, as the ministry laboratories are to be used, in some conditions, to detect cases of food poisoning.
Bader Hassan, a local restaurant manager, said that ensuring the workers' compliance with hygienic standards is one of the precautions taken by the restaurants during the summer, in addition to checking the validity of workers' health certificates.
He added that other precautions are performed such as careful food preservation in cool places, cleaning utensils, maintaining the restaurants cleanliness, noting that summer precautions are various due to the increased likelihood of food damage at higher temperatures.
Choosing high-quality meat and vegetables, ensuring the safety of their origin, careful preservation of them and cooking them well to avoid the transmission of bacteria are also measures that are taken in restaurants, he asserted.
Hassan concluded by saying that the municipality carries out periodic inspection campaigns, adding that the penalties are exceptionally fair when applied.