Grinding halt at Sørenga Food Court

Food hygiene food courtMeat. Photo: Pixabay

A Grinding halt at Sørenga Food Court

A Food Court at Sørenga in Oslo was closed effective immediately: «Not safe»,  says the Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) to Dagbladet.


– It was dirty, messy and a lot of leftovers, according to Marit Kolle in the Food Safety Authority.

The Pop-up Food Court Beach Belly opened as an offer to visitors at Sørenga in Oslo. They were to have the offer of a meal at a reasonable price without having to seek out the regular restaurants in the city district.

Closed then and there

But the low-threshold offer at the water’s edge came to a grinding halt before the weekend. After just two weeks of operation, the food court had to shut down following orders by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

– It was not advisable to let it go on without significant improvements being made, says Marit Kolle.

Four actors share the premises at Sørenga. The offer includes Vietnamese, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Afro-Caribbean and Thai food, as well as ice cream.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority made the inspection after receiving a notification of concern. Head of the department, Marit Kolle, describes the situation as shocking.

– It was dirty, messy and a lot of leftovers. There was a lack of toilet for the personnel and approved handwash basins. There was no washing facilities for equipment and the water in the faucet was also not hot enough, she continues.

Could have become ill

The bathing guests at Sørenga have been threatened by sewage and fuel oil spills this summer. Without the clampdown from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, the bathing guests could easily get sick of the food from the food court, Kolle believes.

– Pure speculation. We are concerned with hygiene. Besides, we do not prepare food, we sell food that is brought here from elsewhere, is the response from one of the stall managers.

CEO of Søylen Eiendom, Carl Erik Krefting, who owns the shop floor at Sørenga, is not familiar with the shutdown before Dagbladet contacts him.

-We have a strict Food Safety Authority and we are pleased to have that, is his general comment. Cancer emphasizes that lack of hygiene is not acceptable for the company’s tenants, but that kitchen conditions are the responsibility of each individual tenant. The property company is not entitled to intervene when a contract has been entered into.

Worked all night long

Project manager Adiam Mingis was present during the inspection. She has an understanding of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority’s objections and stresses their desire to accommodate the authorities. After the inspection, she took hold of the situation.

– We worked all night and next morning and asked the Food Safety Authority to come once more, she says.

In one day, Mingis, with the help from the municipality of Oslo and flexible craftsmen, managed to rectify the most serious issues. After an inspection on the following day, the food court was reopened for business. Even the Food Safety Authority is impressed by the swiftness.

– During the follow-up inspection, we concentrated on what is dangerous to the health. They will receive a notice of things to rectify with a somewhat longer deadline. The immediate health hazard is gone, but we are not done yet, Kolle says.


© Dagbladet / #Norway Today