In the lively world of Singapore’s food establishments, hygiene isn’t just a gentle nudge; it’s a necessity.
Singapore’s government has imposed a strict rule on the cleanliness of eateries’ premises, determined to save us from food poisoning disasters.
So, if your favourite food establishment mysteriously closes down for a while, they might’ve slacked off on their hygiene routine.
The licence of a food establishment located in Bukit Merah Central faced suspension due to its inability to maintain proper cleanliness standards.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) announced on its website that it imposed a one-day suspension on the license of Good Eat’s, the Food Shop located at 164 Bukit Merah Central, effective 1 December 2023.
This action was taken in response to the accumulation of 14 demerit points within a year.
The eatery was also fined $1,200 for three separate offences, as reported by the SFA.
These violations included a failure to uphold adequate cleanliness of the premises and the neglect to provide essential amenities such as toilet paper and soap in the restroom facilities.
We’ve all been in that situation before. You’re at an establishment, trying to wash your hands after eating, but then you keep pressing the soap dispenser like a maniac, only to realise it’s empty. Frustrating, isn’t it?
The SFA emphasised the weight of these violations and underlined the importance of adhering to proper food and personal hygiene practices by all food operators.
Additionally, they stressed the necessity of employing registered food handlers exclusively.
Furthermore, the SFA emphasised its commitment to vigorously enforce the Environmental Public Health Act.
It made clear that it would not hesitate to take strong measures against any individuals or establishments in breach of this legislation.
The SFA also encouraged the public to play an active role in maintaining food safety standards. If anyone encounters instances of subpar food safety practices in eateries, the SFA advises refraining from patronising such establishments.
Instead, they urged individuals to report their concerns through the online feedback form or by contacting the SFA Contact Centre at 6805-2871.
Penalties According to the Points Demerit System
To drive home the importance of maintaining high food safety standards across various premises, the SFA introduced the Points Demerit System.
This system’s scope extends to encompass main licensees, including those overseeing coffee shops, food courts, and canteens.
When a main licensee amasses 12 or more demerit points within 12 months, their license faces suspension for durations of 1, 2, or 3 days, contingent upon their previous suspension history.
During the suspension period, all individual stalls operating within the affected coffee shop, food court, or canteen must cease their operations.
Furthermore, food handlers and Food Hygiene Officers must undergo and complete the Food Safety Course at Level 1 and Level 3, respectively, as part of the corrective measures.
Addressing the Cleanliness of Public Toilets in Hawker Centres and Coffee Shops
This incident aligns with a recent study conducted by the Singapore Management University (SMU), which highlights that the cleanliness of public toilets in Singapore still has a long road to improvement.
This survey, which examined over 1,000 toilets in coffee shops and hawker centres, revealed a trend: most of these facilities remain as unclean as they were three years ago.
The nationwide study discovered that these public toilets have been confined to cramped, dimly lit, and poorly ventilated spaces, characterised by floors marred by stains, persistent wetness, and grease.
Similar to the case of the premises at Good Eat’s, the study revealed various hygiene issues, including insufficient toilet paper and lack of soap.
Other hygiene issues mentioned in the survey include frequent sink blockages, unsanitary taps, stained mirrors, and even seats bearing unsightly footprints, painting a rather grim picture of the current state of public toilet cleanliness in Singapore.
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