SHUT DOWN

New Straits Times - - Letters -

OUR well­ness is linked to our diet. But, while eat­ing right is im­por­tant, food hy­giene is equally im­por­tant. Main­tain­ing hy­giene stan­dards is a must for food out­lets, but sadly, we con­tinue to read about and see premises where hy­giene is com­pro­mised.

While re­cent cases of nasi kan­dar out­lets and a bak­ery op­er­at­ing un­der ques­tion­able hy­giene stan­dards are alarm­ing, it is even more shock­ing that th­ese in­ci­dents oc­curred at well-known busi­nesses, which should lead con­sumers to ex­pect bet­ter stan­dards. While there are many such oc­cur­rences, of­ten only a hand­ful get high­lighted.

Is­sues such as for­eign sub­stances in food, run­down premises, work­ers’ poor hy­giene, dirty kitchens and pest in­fes­ta­tion are more of­ten than not swept un­der the car­pet.

I have been won­der­ing about this. When do op­er­a­tors of 24hour res­tau­rants clean their premises? How do stalls and food trucks ob­tain enough wa­ter to cook and clean?

Eater­ies, re­gard­less of their scale, have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to com­ply with food hy­giene stan­dards. This en­tails strict com­pli­ance with Food Hy­giene Reg­u­la­tions 2009. Hy­gienic prac­tices must pre­vail in the food sup­ply chain, from prepa­ra­tion to serv­ing. Those caught vi­o­lat­ing rules must be hauled up and pun­ished, while premises with re­peat of­fences must be shut down per­ma­nently.

Rules and reg­u­la­tions ex­ist to pro­tect con­sumers and there should be no com­pro­mise when it comes to com­pli­ance. Eater­ies must know the risk of non-com­pli­ance and not blame en­forcers or the gov­ern­ment when they are or­dered to shut down.

On the other hand, while con­sumers know eat­ing con­tam­i­nated food can have se­vere or fa­tal con­se­quences, we con­tinue to

SATUR­DAY, MARCH 25, 2017 pa­tro­n­ise out­lets with ques­tion­able hy­giene stan­dards.

Let’s be cau­tious and not be se­duced by del­i­ca­cies that ap­pear to be clean.

Ob­serve the hy­giene prac­tices of the premises, as well as the in­di­vid­u­als who serve you your meals.

Adopt a proac­tive attitude, and name and shame premises that com­pro­mise on hy­giene.

Let’s act in sol­i­dar­ity and send a mes­sage to food op­er­a­tors that com­pro­mised food hy­giene can be a pricey af­fair.

DARSHAN SINGH DHILLON Pres­i­dent, Malaysia Con­sumers Move­ment

FILE PIC

Let’s be cau­tious and not be se­duced by del­i­ca­cies that ap­pear to be clean.

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