Filthy toilets a public hygiene concern

From a hygiene standpoint, the abominable conditions of public toilets in Singapore, particularly those in heartland food establishments like coffee shops, are worrying.

It is safe to assume that the regular users of such toilets are the stallholders, typically the food handlers.

It is not uncommon to see urine on the floor. The flush systems barely work and the taps are faulty. Though there are soap dispensers, they are either empty or damaged.

With the taps not working, the basins are an eyesore, covered with spots of saliva, mucus or foreign particles.

Indeed, the condition of the toilets does not encourage or enable users to maintain strict hygiene.

With more people eating out these days, society cannot afford to be cavalier about public hygiene.

It is time the authorities hold the owners of food establishments accountable for not maintaining the hygiene standards of toilets on their premises.

National Environment Agency officers should conduct regular inspections and take enforcement action, should any of these establishments contravene the Environmental Public Health Act.

Similarly, the authorities may also consider positive reinforcement by rewarding those establishments that maintain good hygiene.

Derek Wee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2017, with the headline 'Filthy toilets a public hygiene concern'. Print Edition | Subscribe