Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has raided and sealed around 11 fish shops and also penalized 67 other shops with fines amounting to Rs 0.9 million.
The PFA is scouring the whole province to find restaurants and fish sellers involved in selling spoiled or unwholesome fish. Other than sealing outlets and penalizing them, the PFA also warned 211 businesses who were not following food regulations.
Four fish outlets in Lahore, two in Faisalabad, three in Gujranwala, and two in Multan division have been sealed. These outlets were caught using unhygienic and rotten products and oils to cook the fish.
Rafia Haider, the PFA Director General of Operations, explained that the demand for fish increases in winter. With increasing demand, the eateries are failing to adhere to the standards set by the regulatory authority. Restaurants cook fish in spoiled oil and do not have a proper system for safety and hygiene. She said that this is why 11 outlets have been sealed and fined.
She added that the PFA will invalidate licenses of fish businesses using spoiled or rancid oil to cook the fish. PFA will keep in check eateries from now on and aims to expose such activities.
The demand of fish peaks during the winter season. It is so high that the popular fish businesses in major cities, like Lahore and Karachi, earn their profits in the winter and remain closed for the rest of the year.