Food stalls to sport 'SG Clean' mark for hygiene standards

(Far left) The "SG Clean" quality mark at a hawker stall in Our Tampines Hub. (Left) Chua Yu Xuan, seven, washing her hands at the same hawker centre yesterday. Posters have been put up at hawker centres to encourage customers to practise good person
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli and Mr Tan Shi Liang, 32, of Roasted Delight stall, exchanging greetings with an alternative gesture instead of shaking hands, during the launch of the SG Clean campaign at the hawker centre in Our Tampines Hub yesterday.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
(Far left) The "SG Clean" quality mark at a hawker stall in Our Tampines Hub. (Left) Chua Yu Xuan, seven, washing her hands at the same hawker centre yesterday. Posters have been put up at hawker centres to encourage customers to practise good person
The "SG Clean" quality mark at a hawker stall in Our Tampines Hub. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
(Far left) The "SG Clean" quality mark at a hawker stall in Our Tampines Hub. (Left) Chua Yu Xuan, seven, washing her hands at the same hawker centre yesterday. Posters have been put up at hawker centres to encourage customers to practise good person
Chua Yu Xuan, seven, washing her hands at the same hawker centre yesterday. Posters have been put up at hawker centres to encourage customers to practise good personal hygiene habits. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Quality scheme aims to raise cleanliness and safeguard public health amid virus outbreak

Hawker stalls will be sporting an "SG Clean" quality mark from today that signifies if the operators have met certain hygiene standards.

The scheme aims to raise cleanliness and safeguard public health amid the coronavirus outbreak, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) yesterday.

Hygiene standards include ensuring food preparation areas and equipment are sanitised, waste is handled properly and systems are in place to monitor staff health. Singapore Food Agency officers will carry out checks during routine inspections at the premises - but there was no word on how often this will be.

Separately, hawker centres will also receive the quality mark to signify if they have met hygiene standards in areas such as toilet cleanliness and general public hygiene like pest management. This will be under NEA's purview.

Posters have been put up at hawker centres urging customers to return trays and keep their tables clean, among other things. The posters also encourage customers to practise good personal hygiene habits, such as washing their hands regularly with soap.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, who attended the launch of the campaign at the hawker centre in Our Tampines Hub yesterday, said: "We hope that this is not something we do only because there's a crisis.

"We have to increase this awareness of the need for good personal hygiene practice, good cleaning practices and maintain these beyond this episode of the Covid-19."

This will also help to prepare Singapore for any future virus outbreaks, Mr Masagos added.

The "SG Clean" quality mark will be progressively rolled out in various sectors with high human traffic, including pre-schools, schools, hotels, tourist attractions and shopping malls. The hygiene checklist may differ from sector to sector.

Members of the public can call NEA's 24-hour hotline on 1800-CALL-NEA (1800-2255-632) to report premises that do not adhere to hygiene conditions.

Mr Tan Shi Liang, 32, who runs a roast meat hawker stall at Our Tampines Hub, said he had already stepped up hygiene measures before this campaign was launched.

 
 
 
 

"We have been taking extra precautions to wipe down - and sanitise - external areas that customers use," said Mr Tan.

He said his staff used to do it at the end of the day, but they have stepped it up to at least twice a day, including after the lunch peak hour. "This hygiene checklist and quality mark is more of a reminder because it's our daily practice to do all this."

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor was also at the launch.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2020, with the headline 'Food stalls to sport 'SG Clean' mark for hygiene standards'. Print Edition | Subscribe