Muscat: In an amended Food Safety Law issued by Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, installation of CCTV cameras in food establishments has become mandatory.
The quantum of penalty has also been hiked ranging from OMR100 to OMR5,000 for manufacturing food items without obtaining a license or dealing with counterfeit foodstuff or harmful substances that are not suitable for human consumption.
Establishments covered under the law include restaurants and cafes, fast food restaurants, bakeries, public kitchens, food processing plants, mills, livestock slaughterhouses, shopping malls as well as refrigerated, frozen, canned and dry food stores.
The text of the Ministerial decision reads, “The text of Article 37 of the Food Safety Regulations referred to herein shall be replaced by the following: Without breaching the penalties laid down in the Food Safety Law, an administrative fine shall be imposed on any person who commits any of the offences set out in Annex 2 attached to these regulations. The fine shall be doubled if the same violation is repeated within two years from the date of the first offence.”
The list of irregularities and administrative fines under the law include a fine of not less than OMR200 and not more than OMR5,000 for handling of counterfeit food items, a fine of not less than OMR500 and not more than OMR2,000 if the details of food content is not clearly defined in the explanatory card.
The new law commuted the penalties by half compared to the Royal Decree No. 84/2008 on the issuance of the Food Safety Law.
Chapter Four of the Penal Code stipulates that: “Without breach of any more severe penalty stipulated in the Omani Penal Code or any other law, anyone who contravenes the provisions of this law and the regulations and decisions issued, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding OMR10,000 or by either of the two penalties. The penalty shall be doubled if the same offence is repeated.”
The law has added a new chapter to the food safety regulation, which is the imposition of electronic monitoring system on food establishments
Article (33): “an official of the food establishment shall be obliged to install cameras inside the food establishment before engaging in any activity of food handling activities in accordance with the regulations adopted by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources.”
“It is forbidden to stop the electronic censorship system, or to do any act that would affect it,” the low article added
“The institution shall be punished by a fine of not less than OMR100 and not more than 3,000 riyals in the case of stopping the electronic control system or doing any act that would affect it.”