Forum: Food safety is everyone's responsibility

Food handlers with masks on at the SATS inflight catering centre.
Food handlers with masks on at the SATS inflight catering centre. PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Ms Susan Tan Lin Neo for her feedback (Cut risk of food contamination, Oct 18).

The wearing of face masks is a good hygiene practice that is encouraged.

However, it is not made mandatory as we need to take into consideration the practicality of wearing face masks in our hot and humid weather conditions.

Notwithstanding this, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has put in place measures to ensure that food retail establishments maintain good hygiene practices.

All food handlers in licensed food retail establishments must be registered with SFA, and undergo the Basic Food Hygiene Course to equip them with hygiene practices.

This course covers key topics like personal hygiene, proper food handling and storage.

Food handlers should also not engage in any food preparation if they are unwell.

Additionally, SFA has a set of educational materials and guidelines to help food operators upkeep hygiene standards.

SFA also conducts inspections of retail food establishments in Singapore to ensure compliance with food hygiene standards, and will take enforcement action if food hygiene lapses are found.

Errant operators may have their licences suspended or cancelled.

While SFA continues to be vigilant and works to ensure that the 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 in ensuring the food they prepare and serve is fit for consumption, and practise good food and personal hygiene.

Consumers can play a part to ensure observance of standards by retail food establishments.

Members of the public who come across poor hygiene practices in retail food establishments should provide feedback at

Teh Chun Siong


Operations Management Department, Compliance Management Division

Singapore Food Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2019, with the headline 'Food safety is everyone's responsibility'. Print Edition | Subscribe