SOME restaurants around the country will be closed in the weeks ahead following a spot inspection by the Ministry of Health's Food Safety Unit enforcers last week.
Senior health officer and unit head Samuela Bolalailai said "a lot" of restaurants in Suva should have been shut down already for failing to adhere to the guidelines provided in the Food Safety Act 2003.
His comments come on the heel of a series of workshops for restaurant graders which will culminate in the Western Division next month.
"Restaurants won't be forced to close permanently. For them, it'll be a down-but-not-out situation. They should see the problem as an opportunity to solve the issue and to go beyond the requirements.
"Enforcers can feel free to do whatever they can do within the law, within the legal framework because they are immune to any legal litigation. They have a lot of power to even shut down an eatery and search without a warrant," he said.
Mr Bolalailai could not provide this newspaper with an estimated number of restaurants that were marked for temporary shutdown but said they would clamp down on such establishments once a gazette on the matter was issued by the Solicitor General's office.
Last week, the Food Safety Unit conducted a two-day workshop for enforcement officers and restauranteurs alike which 40 participants attended.