Begawan – A new Halal certification for restaurants in the
country is – to be implemented this year. This certification will
identify which restaurants will be fit for Muslim consumption and
which are not. It will also give authority to the Halal Food Control
Section to close down a restaurant if needed.
Previously, restaurants or any
premises can only be ordered closed if they fail to maintain their
cleanliness and hygiene standards. This was revealed yesterday by
the Acting Assistant Head of the Halal Food Control Section
following a surprise inspection on several branches of a restaurant
suspected of selling Chinese dumplings or Tau’, as it is locally
known, containing pork enzymes.
Public complaints prompted the
Halal Food Control Section to send 17 of them with meat fillings
from various branches for laboratory testing on March 26.
Through the Ministry of Industry
and Primary Resources and with cooperation from Universiti Brunei
Darussalam, laboratory testing was conducted and was found positive
to contain pork enzymes. According to officials, these dumplings
were made at the restaurant’s Belait branch and distributed to the
others, according to several restaurant workers when queried by
enforcement personnel during the inspection.
Meanwhile in Belait, an inspection
took place at the restaurant’s branch in Kampong Pandan and the food
items were seized by the section for further testing. The
restaurant’s staff, which include the pau maker and a deliveryman,
were brought in by the section for questioning.
Eighteen of the ready-made
dumplings and six steamed ones were taken away by the section from
the business premise.
The Halal Food Control officials
inspected all branches ofthis restaurant simultaneously and new
samples of the dumplings were collected for another round of
Priced at $1.20 each, these
so-called “special pau” are sold in all the branches located in the
Brunei Muara, Tutong and Belait Districts. It is much bigger than
the normal dumplings and contains larger chunks of beef.
Even more worrying is the fact that
it is also steamed and cooked together with other dumplings.
Asked what actions will be taken on
the restaurant, he added that the batches would be sent to the lab
for more tests. If proven that the food contains the said enzymes,
they will send a report to the Municipal Board for them to take
action. As Brunei is a Muslim country, authorities have urged
restaurants to adhere to religious regulation