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Post by Administrator   #111157    |    Mar 25, 2017, 1:44am   |    News
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22 Mar 2017
Fat, oil and grease are carelessly released into the drains at a restaurant in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang. — Photos: SADIQ SANI/The Star
Fat, oil and grease are carelessly released into the drains at a restaurant in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang. — Photos: SADIQ SANI/The Star

EATERIES in Klang with grease traps that are not working will be penalised by the Klang Municipal Council (MPK).

MPK plans to impose a one-week closure order on operators who fail to have grease traps that are in good condition.

MPK Health Department Food Safety and Quality Division chief A.G. Mazlan said the health inspectors, over the last two months, had checked 637 eateries and found that every outlet with a grease trap was out of commission.

“All 637 restaurants, we checked, had fitted the grease traps to fulfil the requirement for a business licence. But all of them were damaged or were not working properly as the pipes were broken, while some were too small to accommodate the volume of liquid passing through,” he said.

Only a handful of the 637 restaurants were ordered to shut down, but others did not escape punishment either.

The restaurants were issued a fine of RM1,000 each under the Licensing of Food Establishments (Klang Municipal Council) By-Laws 2007, with the council refusing to entertain appeals for a reduction in the penalty amount.


Cooking oil is dumped into drains causing the water channel to be blocked.
Cooking oil is dumped into drains causing the water channel to be blocked.

From this exercise, the council expects to collect an estimated RM630,000.

On top of that, restaurant owners have been given until the end of this month to reinstall grease traps or ensure existing ones are restored to proper working condition.

He said council health officers would check on these eateries, again, in mid-April to make sure they complied with the order.

This comes after MPK discovered that six years after making it compulsory for eateries to install grease traps to prevent fat, oil and grease (FOG) from getting into the drains, less than 80 out of the 1,500 eateries in the municipality had grease traps that worked.

This is an estimation by the Food Safety and Quality Division.

It found that most eateries failed to keep their grease traps in working order or had damaged pipes that rendered them useless.

Mazlan inspecting the grease trap at a restaurant in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, while his staff Nurasyikin Harom (left) and Rathna Thiyagarajan look on.
Mazlan inspecting the grease trap at a restaurant in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, while his staff Nurasyikin Harom (left) and Rathna Thiyagarajan look on.

Grease traps, fitted under the sink, are designed to filter grease out of waste water before it enters the drain. However, because of the lackadaisical attitude of eatery operators, FOG and food residue still end up in drains.

“After seeing the deliberate disregard of MPK’s guidelines for an operational grease trap, I have proposed a one-week closure order to be slapped on these restaurants with no room for appeal,” said Mazlan.

He added that the earlier grease trap ruling had achieved little success in keeping FOG out of the drains.

“Our division’s goal is compli-ance. Improper management of FOGs by restaurants have become a significant problem.

“MPK will continue to ensure high standards are achieved in the best interest of Klang,” said Mazlan, who has been with MPK for 33 years.

In 2016, MPK spent a whopping RM6mil to clean grease lining the council’s drainage networks and grease-related repairs to damaged drains.

A restaurant in Bandar Bukit Tinggi uses a plastic bag and a container instead of proper grease traps to sieve food residue.
A restaurant in Bandar Bukit Tinggi uses a plastic bag and a container instead of proper grease traps to sieve food residue.

Based on his observation during clean-up efforts, Mazlan said an estimated one tonne of FOG entered drains in the Bukit Tinggi township within six months.

If MPK had not removed the waste, the congealed FOG would have caused flash floods as the drain outlets had become narrow, he added.

Most restaurant operators are not supportive of having grease traps installed because of the cost and time needed to dispose off food particles in the chamber baskets.

Small solids such as scraps of meat and vegetables that get caught in the chamber baskets have to be emptied into disposal bags, twice a day, before the rubbish rots and becomes unpleasant to handle.

Klang Consumer Association (KCA) president Devadass Anjan supported Mazlan’s decision to act against restaurants that discharge FOG into the drains.

After all, it is MPK’s duty to ensure cleanliness of the drains, he added.

Restaurant workers using the back lanes to do washing, leading to fat, oil and grease being washed into drains at Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang.
Restaurant workers using the back lanes to do washing, leading to fat, oil and grease being washed into drains at Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang.

Devadass said the council’s failure to control FOG from getting into the drains was because of “the letdown in monitoring compliance, let alone enforcing it”.

“KCA has in the past com-plained about a restaurant or two or in an area discharging FOG but deterrent punishments were not meted out.

“Most of the time eateries escape with just warnings. We find that grease traps are usually only inspected in the event of public complaints due to rotten smell, rat infestation or blockages in drains,” he said.

Devadass said all restaurants must maintain a high hygiene level to prevent water-borne diseases.

With this year being Visit Klang Year 2017, MPK must also order the closure of restaurants found using back lanes as their kitchen, he urged.

“KCA wants the council to organise a crackdown in Little India, the Bukit Tinggi township and Port Klang.

“Most of the restaurants in these areas set up their kitchen in the back lanes and the FOG are washed straight into the drains,” he said.

Source: TheStarOnline
John Naylor   #116740   
11 July 2017, 5:37:02 pm
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