Last Wednesday, the Oman Observer carried a piece stating that the "Muscat Municipality has shut down 17 food stores for violating the specifications and decisions of the municipality's health affairs department".
The article then goes on to record that 2,677 inspections were carried out across Muscat in the first half of August 2014 and that 3,606kg of fruit and vegetables were destroyed along with 254 cans of food.
First of all, great work by the Muscat Municipality inspectors, I truly mean that - the more vigorous and persistent the inspections are, the better food safety we'll all have. I'm sick of paying for food, getting it home and opening that steak to find it's rotten on the other side, or the expensive imported fruits that are all mouldy under the top layer. It's really great to see these inspections ramped up and real punitive actions taken.
But - what is with the refusal to name the shut down institutions? I've no clue, but I'm going to guess here that its a cultural issue linked to not wanting to cause dishonour (perhaps?) to the establishments owners? I think the public should know who these establishments are so they can be extra vigilant if shopping there in the future (inspectors can't be everywhere 24/7 after all).
A few months ago we had the same thing with a bunch of schools that got shut down - and the list wasn't published then either. The list did eventually leak out and it was a list of mostly (from what it seemed to me) Villa Schools that had not invested in it's premises to meet the required standards of an education facility set out by the Ministry of Education.
Coincidently, here are two great tips on how to a) revive berries that are starting to mould, and b) stop berries from getting mouldy in the first place. For the ultra-lazy or only semi-interested; for the starting to mould/bruised up fruit, cut it up and mix it with two teaspoons of sugar... it seems to give the fruit extra shelf life. To stop them getting mouldy in the first place, wash em in vinegar (1 part vinegar 10 parts water). Et voilà.