We thank Mr Lee Kwok Weng and Mr Tan Kok Tim for their feedback (Stricter standards of hygiene needed at dining places, Feb 19; Take hygiene standards at food establishments a notch up, Feb 21).
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) regulates food retail establishments to ensure that food sold at retail outlets is safe for consumption. It inspects retail food establishments in Singapore to ensure compliance with food safety and hygiene standards, and takes enforcement action if food safety and hygiene lapses are found.
Errant operators may have their licences suspended or revoked.
Licensees of food establishments must ensure that their premises provide soap and clean water.
Also, food handlers must wash their hands with soap and clean water thoroughly before they start the sale and preparation of food.
All food handlers who handle and prepare food and beverages in licensed food retail establishments must be registered with the SFA and attend the Basic Food Hygiene Course.
This course equips them with knowledge and skills on good hygiene practices such as personal hygiene, proper food handling and storage, proper cleaning of premises, and washing and storage of utensils.
Food handlers should not engage in any food preparation if they are unwell.
While the SFA continues to ensure that regulatory measures are in place and properly enforced, the food industry and consumers should play their part too.
Operators of retail food stalls and establishments must exercise diligence to ensure that the food they prepare and serve is fit for consumption, and practise good food and personal hygiene.
Consumers can also play a part by observing good personal hygiene, and choosing to patronise food establishments that adopt good food hygiene practices.
Members of the public who come across poor hygiene practices in retail food establishments should provide feedback via SFA's online feedback form (www.sfa.gov.sg/feedback).
Leong Hon Keong (Dr)
Senior Director Compliance Management Division Singapore Food Agency
Compliance Management Division
Singapore Food Agency