Procedures in place to ensure donated food is safe to eat

Volunteers packing food items at Food Bank Singapore’s warehouse in Tanjong Pagar Distripark.
Volunteers packing food items at Food Bank Singapore’s warehouse in Tanjong Pagar Distripark. PHOTO: ST FILE

We are heartened that our food donation campaign has received the attention of the general public.

First, we stress that food safety is of utmost concern to The Food Bank Singapore.

Mr Jeffrey Law Lee Beng (Address hygiene issue of food donations, April 18) rightly pointed out that we serve the vulnerable and the weak. We will not put anyone's well-being at risk just for the sake of redistributing excess food and reducing food waste.

Second, The Food Bank Singapore has been conducting the Cooked Food Rescue programme for about three years and we follow a stringent set of protocols. These protocols have been set up by a food-safety consultant whom we have been working with for many years. We do not frivolously accept and redistribute everything that comes through our doors.

Third, the campaign with Compass One is our first mall-wide attempt to encourage more food and beverage players to donate their excess food.

Those that have chosen to support the campaign will be put on a pilot programme where we get to understand the kind of excess food they have and the protocol that best fits their operations.

The first few batches of collected food will be sent for tests and underwriting to ensure that they are fit for redistribution.

Therefore, we choose to see these partners, including the supportive Compass One mall, as our pioneering partners to find the best system to collect excess food in Singapore.

As members of the globally recognised entity of the Global Food Banking Network, we are audited annually by professionals from the US.

Therefore, we do everything that we can to uphold the health and safety of all our beneficiaries.

Ending food insecurity is our key mission and if we can help to reduce some food waste along the way, that would be a win-win situation for all.

Nichol Ng

Chief Food Officer

The Food Bank Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2019, with the headline 'Procedures in place to ensure donated food is safe to eat'. Print Edition | Subscribe