THE Penang Health Department and the Penang Island City Council carried out inspections on three eateries in Penang Road on March 13.
Two restaurants were ordered to close for two weeks. A dead rat was found in one of the restaurants, as well as rat droppings, cockroaches and dirty toilets in both eateries.
The third restaurant was fined RM1,000 for having a dirty kitchen. It was also issued a RM250 compound for not using a grease trap, and RM90 for failing to vaccinate three workers.
I visited Penang last May and checked out the three restaurants, before deciding on one, which turned out to be a huge disappointment.
The food was below average compared with the nasi kandar restaurants that I have tried over the years.
My favourite is still the same outlet that I have patronised for more than three decades. It started out as a stall in a Chinese coffee shop in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur.
Later, it moved to its own shop a few doors away and subsequently took up two shoplots. It is common to find a long queue around lunch time.
Not far away, a corner shop had also become popular with even longer queues at times. These nasi kandar restaurants in Kuala Lumpur can easily give those in Penang a run for their money.
We should not continue to hype up restaurants just because they used to be popular.
A restaurant that has been declared dirty and unhygienic should not be allowed to continue operating, even if it has been in business for a long time.
Restaurant operators owe it to the public to provide hygienic food and premises after raking in huge profits for so long.
Routine inspections must be carried out at restaurants in the cities, and this is not limited to Penang.