Two stalls get approval to sell raw salmon dishes

In order to get approval to sell raw fish dishes, stall owners and caterers must provide documentation from raw fish suppliers and give evidence of proper cold chain management.
In order to get approval to sell raw fish dishes, stall owners and caterers must provide documentation from raw fish suppliers and give evidence of proper cold chain management. PHOTO: ST FILE

Two stalls have been given the green light to sell raw fish dishes containing salmon, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority announced yesterday.

Seven others are waiting for the authorities to finish reviewing their applications to do so.

The move comes a month after the NEA told stall owners that they had to stop selling dishes containing raw freshwater fish, following an outbreak of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infections linked to the dishes.

They were also stopped from selling similar dishes containing raw saltwater fish, such as salmon, until they could prove that they could handle them properly. However, saltwater fish were not linked to the outbreak.

Last year, around 150 people were infected by the GBS bacteria after consuming raw freshwater fish. It brought the total number of GBS infections for the year to 355, compared with around 150 annually from 2011 to 2014.

In order to get approval to sell raw fish dishes, stall owners and caterers must provide documentation from raw fish suppliers and give evidence of proper cold chain management. "The premises will also be inspected to ensure they comply with the necessary hygiene requirements for separate processing, handling and storing of ready-to-eat raw fish from other raw foods intended for cooking," the authorities said yesterday.

The two stalls that have secured approval to serve raw salmon are Lye Bo Congee and Rui Ji Stall, both located in Block 120, Bukit Merah.

The authorities urged food outlets and caterers keen to resume the sale of ready-to-eat raw fish dishes to submit their applications to the NEA as soon as possible.

This is to allow sufficient time for processing and to ensure that stall owners will be able to operate without disruption during the Chinese New Year period, when dishes served with raw fish, such as yusheng, are popular.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2016, with the headline 'Two stalls get approval to sell raw salmon dishes'. Print Edition | Subscribe