Forum: Those handling food should wear masks

A customer pays a vendor at a food stall in the Chinatown area of Singapore, on Feb 10, 2020.
A customer pays a vendor at a food stall in the Chinatown area of Singapore, on Feb 10, 2020.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

An update on Monday, through the Gov.sg WhatsApp communication channel on the coronavirus outbreak, gave information on cleaning efforts being ramped up in public spaces.

It was mentioned in the communication that stallholders at markets and hawker centres were being engaged on public hygiene and cleanliness, like proper hand-washing and monitoring of their temperature.

As infectious disease experts have explained, based on current knowledge, the primary method of transmission of the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease) is through large respiratory droplets and contact (Transmission only via droplets and contact, Feb 11).

In view of this, it would seem timely for food handlers to be more vigilant when handling cooked food, and that perhaps wearing a face mask should be encouraged to avoid accidental respiratory droplets getting into cooked food.

In addition, if we have communal meals, whether with our family or friends, we should be mindful and use serving utensils.

Yah Jun Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2020, with the headline 'Those handling food should wear masks'. Print Edition | Subscribe