New standards to help caterers improve food safety

Food caterers in Singapore will need to implement a Food Safety Management System (FSMS) by June next year.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Food Standards Committee have introduced a new Singapore Standard for Guidelines on Food Management for Food Service Establishments.

The new standard offers guidelines to help caterers come up with their own food safety protocols.

NEA Director-General of Public Health Derek Ho said: "Food catering operations tend to be particularly high-risk. With the large volume and varied cooking processes, the threat of cross-contamination is high. A Food Safety Management System will help caterers and other food establishments to put in place a structured and efficient process to manage the risks of food hazards."

Starting June 1, 2014, the first phase of the Singapore Standard will be applied only to food caterers who are not currently HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certified.

Restaurants and other small and medium-sized food service establishments can also expect to come under the new standards eventually.

Since February last year, food caterers have also had to time-stamp their packed meals and buffets to inform customers about how long their food has been out.