If the cleaners at hawker centres are to wash food trays, clean utensils and change their cleaning towels frequently, we must be prepared to pay more for our food and beverages (Raise level of hygiene at hawker centres, by Mr Tan Chin Hwee; March 12).
Doing a nearly perfect job would mean the need for more cleaning staff, which is a matter of cost.
We have a shortage of cleaners, and employers would maximise their cleaners' productivity by having them multitask.
Many of our cleaners are elderly folk, but they are diligent.
However, our hawker centres are generally crowded. A cleaner can clear one table and move to another, only to have the tables dirtied again by other patrons.
At peak hours, they are busy and have to choose between re-using dirty towels or being slower when clearing tables.
Instead of relying on the cleaners, patrons must learn to be self-reliant.
Many of us use tissue paper to wipe the chairs. It is not difficult for us to do the same with trays.
We can also wipe the utensils if we feel they are not clean enough.
The hardest part of a cleaner's job is dealing with demanding people who are never satisfied.
The cleaners are trying their best to serve.
Let us have some patience, empathy and understanding.