Make 'consume by' notices a must for foodcourts and food centres

The recent reports on people taken ill after eating catered food are cause for concern ("Caterer suspended after 33 party guests fall sick", Feb 19; and "More fell ill after eating caterer's food", Feb 20).

Kuisine Catering's clients claimed that the company had failed to place a time stamp on the food or provide any "consume by" signs - which are required by the authorities so as to minimise possible food contamination and poisoning.

On this issue, as one who frequently patronises foodcourts and food centres, I have observed that prepared cooked food sold by "economy rice" stalls is often sold several hours from the time of its preparation.

The food is often left in the open without any heating source.

Similarly, chicken rice stalls display their cooked chickens openly for hours. This is worrying, as such practice could result in bacterial growth and the food getting contaminated.

A similar system of informing customers when food should be consumed by should be enforced at foodcourts and food centres, and not apply only to caterers.

Cooked food to be sold should also be placed in adequately covered and heated display cabinets.

Lim Chong Leong