More than a third of coffee shops get SG Clean certification

Public Hygiene Council calls for improved hygiene standards of toilets at such eateries

A Broadway coffee shop at Block 848 Yishun Street 81 is one of the 15 outlets operated by Broadway F&B Management that have received the SG Clean certification. The operator is working to have its remaining 11 coffee shops certified as well. PHOTO: P
A Broadway coffee shop at Block 848 Yishun Street 81 is one of the 15 outlets operated by Broadway F&B Management that have received the SG Clean certification. The operator is working to have its remaining 11 coffee shops certified as well. PHOTO: PUBLIC HYGIENE COUNCIL

Around 400 of the 1,100 coffee shops islandwide have received the SG Clean certification since it was introduced in February, said the Public Hygiene Council (PHC) yesterday.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, there is greater urgency for coffee shops to improve hygiene and cleanliness standards.

These include having a spring-cleaning regime and regularly sanitising frequent touchpoints and food preparation areas.

Major coffee shop operators such as Broadway, S-11 and GHK have stated their commitment to work towards attaining the certification for all their respective coffee shops.

A study conducted by the Singapore Management University that was released in May found that public toilet hygiene standards have declined significantly in local hawker centres and coffee shops, with toilets in coffee shops being comparatively dirtier.

Mr Edward D'Silva, chairman of the PHC, said in a virtual press conference yesterday that toilets in coffee shops are key contributors to the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the coffee shop environment and added that "dirty and wet toilets are fertile breeding grounds for germs and viruses".

To ensure basic standards of hygiene at coffee shops, the PHC recommends that the Government fund the upgrade of facilities and accessories to make certain all toilets are regularly cleaned and equipped with a constant supply of soap and toilet paper.

Support and funding should be provided for cleaners to attend training workshops regularly to upskill and be more effective in their cleaning responsibilities.

The PHC is working with the National Environment Agency to provide more training to its operators.

Broadway F&B Management has had 15 out of its 26 coffee shop outlets certified with SG Clean and is working to have the rest certified as well.

Mr Goh Hung Kwang, chairman of GHK Holdings, said the operator now has all its 11 coffee shop outlets certified with SG Clean.

To ensure that hygiene standards are adhered to, the operator has increased the number of cleaners rostered each shift from two to three.

Tables are swiftly and thoroughly wiped down after patrons have left and frequent spot checks are conducted to ensure that all toilets are clean.

GHK partnered with the PHC's Keep Viruses At Bay initiative in February where coffee shop operators were engaged to step up cleaning regimes and remind patrons to practise good personal hygiene habits.

Ms Lee Bee Wah, a former Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, who was part of the Keep Viruses at Bay initiative, said that it is paramount for "coffee shop operators to continue maintaining high standards of hygiene now that phase two has commenced and more Singaporeans are dining out in small groups".

However, Singaporeans should also do their share by "returning their trays and utensils after meals, binning used tissue and keeping the toilet clean and dry", she said.

Ms Carrie Tan, a newly elected MP for Nee Soon GRC, added: "We would like to encourage residents to think about their coffee shops as an extension of their homes and do their part in keeping them clean."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2020, with the headline More than a third of coffee shops get SG Clean certification. Subscribe