Poor hygiene standards at some eateries

One night, as I was waiting for my order at a coffee shop, I saw the cashier cough into her hand. Then she used the same hand to grab a portion of uncooked noodles to place in a bowl for another customer's order.

When both her hands were occupied, she coughed into her upper arm or did not cover her mouth at all.

The cashier's duties included food handling.

The National Environment Agency confirmed, when I asked, that it is compulsory for all food handlers to attend a food hygiene course. But employees classified as "cashiers" in food stalls need not attend this course.

Moreover, some coffee shops do not provide soap in the washrooms or hand-washing areas. Those that do provide what looks like diluted dishwashing liquid. How do the food handlers wash their hands in these places?

Elsewhere, some servers wear gloves but handle money as well as food. Some who work in ice cream shops wear face masks that do not cover their noses as they put their heads into the display freezer to scoop flavours far from their reach.

Marife Virginia Cruz Yap (Mrs)