Forum: Regulations ensure eateries maintain good hygiene practices

Diners at Yishun Hawker Centre, on Aug 26, 2019.
Diners at Yishun Hawker Centre, on Aug 26, 2019.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

We refer to Mr Roger Chua Yeu Hock's letter (Utensils at eateries not stored hygienically, Dec 28, 2019).

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) regulates food retail establishments to ensure that food sold at retail outlets is safe for consumption. We have in place measures to ensure that food retail establishments maintain good hygiene practices.

All food handlers must be registered with SFA, and must undergo the Basic Food Hygiene Course (BFHC) for training and assessment to equip them with good hygiene practices.

The BFHC covers key topics like personal hygiene and proper food handling. For instance, utensils must be thoroughly washed and cleaned before they are used, among other requirements. More information on food hygiene guidelines can be found at https://www.sfa.gov.sg/food-retail/food-hygiene-practices-guidelines

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

While SFA continues to be vigilant and ensure that regulatory measures are in place and properly enforced, the industry and consumers must also play their part as food safety is a joint responsibility. Food retail operators 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 food establishments should provide feedback via SFA's online feedback form (www.sfa.gov.sg/feedback). Consumers can also choose to patronise food establishments that observe good hygiene practices.

Leong Hon Keong (Dr)

Senior Director

Compliance Management Division

Singapore Food Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2020, with the headline 'Regulations ensure eateries maintain good hygiene practices'. Print Edition | Subscribe