Forum: Don't rely on masks alone to maintain food safety, prevent contamination

The focus on mask-wearing could result in far more important, less visible safety measures being neglected (Masks optional on taxis and in most indoor settings from Monday: 7 things you need to know, Aug 24).

In the area of food safety, for instance, human nature makes us believe that a cook or server wearing a mask is "safe" and clean.

However, very few food poisoning cases are the result of oral contamination.

In the majority of cases, food contamination is due to handling by unwashed contaminated hands, inadequate refrigeration or an unsanitary food supplier.

Food and beverage employees who are focused on wearing masks might adjust their mask or touch their face near their mask, thereby transferring bacteria captured on the mask onto their hands.

They may then easily forget to wash their hands before handling the food.

The public - especially F&B staff - need to let go of the delusion that mask-wearing alone makes them safe.

In fact, if it means neglecting guidelines on hand-washing, refrigeration and food handling procedures, it could do more harm than good.

Eric J. Brooks

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.