Home TA Online From schools to streets, curb food poisoning with stricter hygiene standards

From schools to streets, curb food poisoning with stricter hygiene standards

We need a strong culture of enforcement to improve food hygiene nationwide

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The worrying number of cases of food poisoning in the country, especially among students, demands a national action plan. 

We do not have to wait for more deaths before enforcement personnel are tasked with investigations. 

We do not have to be merely relieved when students recover from hospitalisation. 

What we need is a national review of how food is prepared, transported, handled and sold.

Restaurant facades and dining areas have greatly improved due to enforcement efforts by the authorities.

But the same cannot be said of the kitchens where food is prepared before being carted over to serve consumers. 

The same is also true of the kitchens of eateries. Some of these kitchens are badly maintained, often with wet and dirty flooring.

In several places, rats have a field day, and it does not need a trained eye to spot them

The storage of uncooked and cooked food is far from satisfactory in many shops in cities and small towns. 

Hygiene among restaurant workers is also rarely inspected.  

The rise in tuberculosis and other communicable diseases is a clear warning siren that cannot be ignored.

With our business model of securing only the lowest quote in tenders for food catering, do we not risk more cases of food poisoning?

It is time for the government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, local councils and health departments in every state, to enforce higher standards of food hygiene. 

In a climate where humidity is the norm and with rats and flies in abundance, cases of food becoming contaminated are no longer isolated incidents.

READ MORE:  Siasat barangan makanan yang dibuang di kawasan pembuangan sampah (Malay/English)

To be relieved that we have not seen more deaths is the worst mindset to harbour. 

Food poisoning is as crucial a concern as the rising cost of living. 

We need accountability. We need standards to match our status as a fast-modernising nation. 

Don’t allow the frequent cases of food poisoning to frighten away tourists. 

It is time to pay serious attention to these cases. 

We need higher standards. More importantly, we need a strong culture of enforcement to improve food hygiene nationwide. 

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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