Stiff penalties for food safety violations

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Qatar: The Advisory Council has approved a draft law to amend some of the stipulations of Law No 8 for 1990 on the Regulation of Human Food Control.

These modifications include a penalty of a minimum six months in jail and a maximum of one year in addition to a fine ranging from QR7,000 and up to QR15,000, or any of such penalties for handling food products unfit for human consumption. The penalty shall be doubled in case of repeat offense.

In the event of causing a permanent disability due to the consumption of bad or expired food, the penalty shall be imprisonment of two to four years, with a fine of QR. 15,000 and up to QR. 30,000. The penalty shall be doubled if the crime resulted in death. Also, attempt of committing such crimes will be punishable by the same penalties.

For violating the regulations of importing or handling food products, the penalty shall be a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of QR15,000 maximum or any of such penalties.

In case of releasing seized food products without the prior approval of the authority concerned, the penalty shall be from two weeks and up two months in jail and a fine of QR300 and up to QR2,000 or any of such penalties.

Food unfit for consumption will be confiscated and destroyed at the expense of the violator. Besides, the erring outlet shall be closed for a period ranging from one to three months, with the penalty doubled in case of repeat offense. The closure decision shall be published in two local dailies with the cost paid by the violator. Also, the convict shall be deported in case of non-Qataris.[Gulf Times]

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