A TOTAL of 23 food outlets were inspected in two malls in the metro as the food safety programme by the Public Health Department of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality continued. The operation was held in Walmer Park mall and Moffet on Main mall, where a team from the environmental health department inspected various restaurants and retail stores to ensure that the stores were compliant. The programme focuses on food handling, storage, preparation and waste disposal of all food outlets in the metro. Patrick Noduele, the head of the Department of Environmental Health in the metro, indicated that the inspections were of utmost importance to ensure that all food outlets stay within the scope of food safety in the metro.“We have to make sure that all food outlets stay compliant and heavy fines, even closing down of the shop, will occur if certain criteria are not met. “We have to keep our stores in check for the safety of the residents,” Noduele said.According to the report issued by the environmental department after the inspections, a total of 18 food outlets were compliant, but five were non-compliant. The environmental health department has reported that one of the outlets operated on a certificate of acceptability of a different person and that a fine of R5 000 was issued for operating without a certificate of acceptability. The report also stated that food products on the shelves at one of the outlets were beyond their sell-by date. These food outlets will be visited again in 2019 to ensure that the recommendations were implemented within the stores. The department has also done food safety checks in various areas of the metro, including Korsten, Central, Kwazakhele and Uitenhage.