The federal food safety agency Afsca has ordered the closure of two restaurants of the ribs chain Amadeus – one in Brussels and one in Kruishoutem in East Flanders. The agency said it was forced to order the restaurants to close because of a lack of response to numerous warnings about food hygiene at the restaurants. However the agency said there was no immediate danger to public health. The solutions presented by the owners were, a spokesperson told Belga, only temporary, with no long-term plan to sort out the problems.
Specific complaints concerned damaged walls and grills that had not been properly cleaned. Food safety in the future could not be guaranteed, the agency said, so closure was in order.
The withdrawal of the licences for the two restaurants is not temporary. Before the restaurants open again, should the owners choose to do so, they will have to apply to Afsca for a new licence, and conditions will be fully inspected and evaluated before any licence – without which a restaurant may not open its doors – can be granted.
Afsca has a wide variety of powers, of which withdrawal of a licence is the toughest. In other cases, the agency has the powers to issue a warning or a legal notice, to confiscate food and equipment, and to order a temporary closure.