The recent spate of mass food poisoning incidents is alarming (175 fall ill after four events at Mandarin Orchard ballroom; Dec 6).
Ironically, the incidents involved establishments from which people would usually expect high standards of hygiene. It is now presumptuous to believe so.
I suspect that food handling and storage might be the reason.
Some years back a reader wrote to this Forum page about how he saw a man in a chef's uniform who did not wash his hands after using the toilet.
I continue to see people who work in restaurants as chefs or kitchen staff who do not wash their hands after toilet use.
It is appalling.
Anecdotally, my friends have observed a higher incidence of people, both male and female, not washing their hands after using the toilets. This is not limited to any strata in society either, as I have seen people in workmen overalls and people in suits doing so.
While I wish people would observe clean toilet hygiene, there should be no compromise with this basic form of personal hygiene for people working in restaurants and food outlets.
While heightening awareness and education would, of course, be helpful, I hope the National Environment Agency can find a way to enforce this with food establishments.
Joseph Tay Cher Nam