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‘40 Amman stores closed for health violations in Ramadan’

By Muath Freij - Jul 10,2014 - Last updated at Jul 10,2014

AMMAN –– The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) has closed down 40 stores over health violations since the beginning of Ramadan, an official said Thursday.

“Through my work in the past years, I think the number of the stores that have been closed down is higher compared to the same period last year,” Mervat Mheirat, director of GAM’s health supervision department, told The Jordan Times over the phone.   

She attributed the higher number of closed stores this year to several factors, including the stricter procedures recently implemented and GAM health inspector’s knowledge of the hot spots where violators are often found.  

Mheirat said GAM teams have destroyed eight tonnes of foodstuff found to be unsuitable for human consumption and 35 litres of juice sold by street vendors deemed undrinkable so far this Ramadan.

Consumer demand for juice soars during the fasting month, especially in summer. The number of street vendors selling juice rises in Ramadan to capitalise on this trend.

Muslims abstain from food and drink in Ramadan from dawn until sunset. 

Mheirat said the municipality has issued 500 tickets and 400 warnings to shopkeepers who did not abide by health regulations.   

“These cases are referred to court, which imposes fines against violators,” Mheirat noted, adding that GAM closes down these stores temporarily. 

The municipality official also said GAM suspended 35 stores for displaying goods on the pavement, an act which also violates health laws. 

GAM gave shopkeepers between 24 and 72 hours to rectify their stores’ situation.

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