UPDATE: Health Ministry says, Sheraton Mall Food Court reopened
Sheraton Mall (File Photo)
[Uodate: 11.10am, Friday, September 13, 2019]
Sheraton Mall's Food Court is open for business.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth George thanked the management of Sheraton for working with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and for complying.
"We have been working with the place at Sheraton for a few days as well and we felt that after our initial interventions with them that we had to go the further step of strongly recommending closure.
"I would like to thank the management of Sheraton Centre for understanding the Ministry's position and for their willingness to institute a programme of maintenance and cleaning."
Passionately he stressed that maintenance, especially when dealing with food, is not to be ad hoc but planned and consistent.
"You must have a scheduled programme for maintenance and cleaning! Everybody even does that in their own homes. You gotta clean your house. Bajans does [sic] clean their house every Saturday, so why shouldn't you clean your food establishments? So that the food establishments are not only to make a large profit but they must also do it in an environment that is clean."
Twenty food establishments were impacted by the Food Court closure including the fruit, vegetable and juice bar, the patty kiosk and the candy/snack store. The Food Court at the Mall carries a wide variety of flavours including Italian, Chinese, Arabian, Jamaican, American and Bajan.
Video caption: On social media people were sharing footage of the closed businesses.
Health Ministry closes Sheraton Mall Food Court
[Original story: September 10, 2019, 5.10pm]
The food court at Sheraton Mall was forcefully closed around midday by Ministry of Health officials.
This action and step were taken today after an inspection of the food outlets by the Environmental Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
The closure put a damper on the lunch-time rush as persons were unable to purchase the food that was already displayed in many of the takeaway restaurants.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said that today's closure came after numerous inspections over a period of approximately six days.
'The Ministry disclosed that environmental health officers had been inspecting the food outlets from September 4, and had found “several conditions which were in violation of the Health Services Food Hygiene Regulations”.
'According to the Acting Chief Environmental Health Officer, Ronald Chapman, owners were instructed to carry out the necessary remedial action, and it was recommended that no food be sold during the period that this work was being done.'
Loop News visited the area today and some staff of the Mall who prefered to speak under anonymity said, "It only happened like around 12 o'clock and people food was done. Almost everybody had done cooked."
Highlighting one food outlet, a guy said, "They done give away their food so there is no way that they are reopening today."
Some food outlets had up 'We are closed' signs while many were closed without any notices and yet others were still in the process of closing with their security gates or grating partially down.
Though the length of time proposed for the closure was not stated in the Ministry of Health press release, it did state, 'The Ministry of Health and Wellness advises the public that it is working with the management of the mall to limit any inconvenience that these closures may cause.'
The fruit juice bar and candy/snack shop in the food court were closed as well. The only food establishment unaffected by the closure of the food court was Subway which is located in a completely different wing of the Christ Church-located mall.
Efforts to speak with Sheraton Mall management were futile as they were in a series of meetings all day. The management for the cleaning company which seemed to have been called in was in the meeting as well so there was no comment from that end as well.