University cafeteria shut for being unhygienic

The National University of Samoa's (N.U.S.) main cafeteria has been closed by the Ministry of Health (M.O.H).

Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Health Protection and Enforcement, Mae'e Ualesi Silva, said the cafeteria was unhygienic and did not have consistent water supply. 

She said the university's main cafeteria should have water to clean and cook food.

"In every restaurant, there is a need for the water to clean the tools used for cooking and to clean the cabbages and all those stuff needed for the food to be healthy," Mae'e said. 

"Water is the most important part of a restaurant. Another thing we captured in our survey is that the environment is not neat and not healthy for cooking."

A university employee, who did not want to be identified, said it's been three weeks since the Health Ministry shut the restaurant.

There was supposed to be a follow-up inspection, which has not happened yet.

"We've already done the cleaning and we're just waiting because they said they were going to come this week," he added.

But M.O.H. is giving the university time to improve the condition of its cafeteria, said Mae'e. 

The closure of the cafeteria has led to junk food being sold outside the cafeteria. 

Attempts by this newspaper to get comments from the shop owner and the N.U.S. management were unsuccessful. 

In the meantime, students have expressed concern at the cafeteria's closure, and want it reopened as they prefer its healthy meals option. 

A student, Vaisa Lei'a, said food sold by other outlets at the university were not healthy.

"I just hope for the restaurant to open again because to be fair, the food from the other small cafeterias around the university is so not healthy especially since they're all fast and junk foods. I'd rather eat here so that I am 100 percent sure I am healthy," said Vaisa.

"Although the Health Ministry said the environment was not healthy, but at least no one died or is getting sick from the food they sold in the past days. I mean it's good to clean it again but I just can't eat any other food than real food these guys used to sell."

Another student, Peter Lemisi, said the restaurant should be checked by the authorities every week as is it is always busy on most days.

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