Environmental health inspectors from the city of Johannesburg’s environmental health department shut down a second Food Lovers Market outlet yesterday after an inspection revealed the need for deep cleaning and fumigation.
The department said it would keep the two Food Lovers Market outlets in Soweto – one in Diepkloof and another in Jabulani – closed until they have been fully vetted for health risks.
The closure of these outlets was precipitated by a video, which went viral on social media, showing a rodent inside a fridge in the Diepkloof store where food was being kept.
In a statement on Tuesday, the city said its environmental health inspectors have been monitoring the Food Lovers Market in Diepkloof since it opened in 2013, focusing mainly on rodent infestation.
“Before the latest video was leaked to the public, notices to comply with waste management, pest control, and hygiene requirements were issued to the outlet to no avail,” the statement reads.
The latest inspection exposed both outlets to not being fully compliant with numerous food safety regulations and recommended immediate remedial action, the city said.
The decision to inspect both Food Lovers outlets in Soweto followed instruction from MMC for health and social development Mpho Phalatse who ordered an investigation into non-compliance to environmental health issues.
Phalatse was adamant food outlets which did not comply with environmental health provisions and continue to endanger the lives of residents would be shut down.
“I would like to commend environmental health practitioners who upheld the city’s service with pride objective and put the health of residents first,” said the MMC.
“Anyone operating a food outlet in the city of Joburg must adhere to food safety regulations, this is not negotiable,” she said.
Phalatse said the city’s environmental health practitioners would continue to act without fear or favour against people who transgressed municipal bylaws.