Forum: Food establishments must maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene

We thank Mr Alan Chin for his feedback (Are eateries being kept clean during circuit breaker?, May 12).

At the start of the Covid-19 situation in Singapore, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and National Environment Agency (NEA) issued a joint advisory to guide operators of food establishments as well as stallholders at hawker centres and coffee shops on good practices in areas such as housekeeping and refuse management.

The agencies have also been engaging operators and stallholders to be a part of the SG Clean quality mark certification programme.

Under the programme, operators and stallholders are required to adhere to good food safety and hygiene practices and keep their premises pest-free to be awarded the SG Clean quality mark.

During the circuit breaker period, food establishments and hawker centres have remained open. Food purchases can be made through food deliveries or takeaways.

NEA, town councils and hawkers' associations work closely with cleaning contractors of hawker centres to ensure that there are sufficient cleaners to regularly carry out required cleaning work, such as general cleaning of common areas, table cleaning, toilet cleaning and pest control work.

All food establishments must continue to ensure high standards of cleanliness and hygiene at their premises during the circuit breaker period, even though dining-in is disallowed.

As part of licensing conditions, SFA requires food establishment operators to engage pest control operators at least once a month, even during the circuit breaker period.

Regular inspections of food establishments and cooked food stalls at hawker centres are conducted during this period.

SFA will also take enforcement action against licensees who do not comply with the requirements.

Patrons and delivery staff can help by binning all litter when visiting food establishments and hawker centres, during and beyond the circuit breaker period.

Abdul Jalil (Dr)

Senior Director

Joint Operations Division

Singapore Food Agency

Andrew Low

Director

Hawker Centres Division

National Environment Agency