20 food stall owners warned by SFA for non-compliance with mask requirements

An SFA officer speaking to a food stall licensee about mask and spit guard wearing requirements. PHOTO: SFA

SINGAPORE - Written warnings have been issued to 20 food stall licensees for non-compliance with mask and spit guard wearing requirements for food safety.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) conducted a targeted operation islandwide from Sept 26 to 30, where a total of 349 stalls across 40 coffee shops and foodcourts were inspected.

Since April 2020, it has been a requirement for all food handlers to wear masks or other forms of physical barriers when preparing ingredients or drinks, and while cooking, packing and serving food.

This continues despite the easing of Covid-19 mask-wearing regulations, so as to prevent food handlers from coughing or sneezing into food and contaminating them during the preparation and handling process.

Face shields are not allowed to be worn by food handlers as they are ineffective physical barriers. This is because the large gap at the bottom of the shield can cause food contamination.

These requirements apply to all persons in retail food establishments such as restaurants, food shops within pubs and bars, coffee shops and foodcourts, and those in market stalls, produce shops and supermarkets.

Non-retail establishments such as food manufacturers, central kitchens and slaughterhouses must also comply with the requirements to ensure food safety and minimise potential contamination along the entire production line.

Following the first warning, licensees found to be in breach of these requirements again will face enforcement fines of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both, and may have their licence suspended or cancelled.

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