Chipiku Plus Stores at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre risks being closed over rat invasion and poor sanitation and hygiene.
The shop is infested with rodents and the owners have been using poison and cats to get rid of the rants, an act which may result in food contamination thereby putting lives of consumers at risk.
And Blantyre City Council (BCC) has issued out a Statutory Notice warning the shop owners to rectify the situation or face closure within seven days.
According to the notice which Nyasa Times has seen, BCC has warned the shop owners of contravening the Public Health and the Council’s By-Laws for, among others, failing to institute proper pest control measures and failing to maintain high sanitation and hygiene standards.
The shop has also been accused of failing to provide lockers to its staff in the changing rooms, providing rat poison in the shop thereby causing risk of food contamination and for keeping live animals (cats)
in the food store.
Reads the Statutory Notice in part: ”You are to satifactorily rectify the contraventions of the legislation as stated above within seven days (7) working days upon receipt of this letter.”
According to the Notice, Chipiku Plus Shop has been ordered to install self closing door to all access to the bulk store, institute proper packing and shelving of goods in the bulk store and engage professional pest control to de rat and rat proof the premises.
”No live animal should be seen in the food store, provide proper change room for your staff, institute good house keeping procedures in and around the premises. Clean up the place to remove rat droppings, odour and markings and redecorate the premises,” orders the Notice.
BCC has since warned that it will close the shop and take legal action if the owners are not seriousness to address the situation.
The Chipiku Plus shop owners declined to be interviewed, however, they told BCC inspection team that they were not aware that keeping cats or using rat poison in food shops was illegal.
Meanwhile, the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has also condemned the shop owners of failing to adhere to set standards of shop management, sanitation and hygiene.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :