First regional food safety workshop held in Singapore

The first food safety workshop for Asian countries opened on Thursday in Singapore with the hope of highlighting good food handling practices to the region.

National Environment Agency (NEA) chief Ronnie Tay noted that proper food handling practices were critical for the community especially at the moment given that 80 per cent of Singaporeans eat out at least twice a week, according to a Health Promotion Board survey.

A total of 22 countries will be represented at the three-day workshop, organised by the NEA and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. At the opening of the event, Mr Tay also announced his hopes that an Asian Street Food Network could be formed to promote the learning and sharing of hygienic practices by street vendors in the region.

The World Health Organisation estimates that the 2.2 million deaths by diarrhoeal diseases are caused mostly by contaminated food. In July, 23 school children in India died after eating free school lunches contaminated with insecticide.