Makeshift food stalls do roaring business
Spicy and fried snacks prepared the typical way are widely common dishes on the iftar tables of expatriates as well as some Saudis in the Kingdom during the holy month of Ramadan. However, rushing to buy these snacks, particularly, as the iftar time nears, causes heavy traffic jams.
On the other hand, simple iftar snacks constitute a lucrative business and an additional source of income for some expatriates besides eateries and restaurants.
Although authorities claim inspection has been intensified to check the hygienic conditions and the legal status of workers, this business seems to be booming in Ramadan.
Hundreds of kitchen workers and cooks have left the Kingdom during the labor campaign, which created an acute shortage of skilled workers to prepare food items, and also contributed to an increase in the price of snacks.
Inspection raids by municipal authorities to check up on the state of hygiene at eateries led many to adopt various tactics to avoid detection such as outsourcing their cooking job to others.
In a recent raid by the Jeddah Municipality inspection teams, two kitchens were found supplying prepared food to restaurants while Jazan police arrested six workers who were involved in preparing sambusak in a remote place apparently for a restaurant.
Several hundreds of vendors, including Arab nationals, set up tables along both sides of the road on King Khaled Street in south Jeddah where they sell Shorba (soup) and sambusak to customers.
The licensed eateries, meanwhile, have been taking extra precautions to meet the health standards of the public health department of municipalities, whose teams conduct regular inspections.
Mohammed Al-Bogmi, spokesperson of Jeddah Municipality, told Arab News that “the role of the Jeddah Municipality is to ensure that food items offered to customers are healthy and hygienic.”