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The food safety and hygiene standards in Singapore are treated with top priority. The National Environment Agency (NEA) regulates stringent compliance among food businesses. Besides inspecting restaurants, bars and cafes, food kiosks and carts, supermarket and food caterers are not spared as well.
Here is a summary of essential guidelines to maintain optimal food safety and hygiene
#1 improper food handling could result in food contamination and cause food poisoning symptoms. A person can get infected with virus such as Norovirus which is contagious. Common causes include consuming food or water that is contaminated or getting into contact with contaminated surfaces.
Tip: Pests such as cockroaches can stain surfaces and cooking utensils with their urine and dropping. Make sure they are wipe clean before use at all times, and ensure cockroach solution is in place.
#2 Germs and bacteria that is found on our hands, food preparation tools and surfaces is one of the main factors in causing food contamination. It can get transferred to the food we are consuming easily.
Tip: Improve personal hygiene by adopting proper handwashing habits. Kitchen crew whom are unwell should refrain from food preparation activities. Use clean and unrecycled hand gloves for food handling.
#3 Pest are attracted to food source and water. For instance, cockroaches feed on sweets, starch, meats or decaying matter. Particularly, American cockroaches, they are commonly found in kitchens and restaurants. For food business that deals with desserts or sweet serving, ants are largely attracted to sweet stuffs such as sugar, fruits, juice or nectar. The diet of rodents is very similar to human’s palette. For instance, grains and seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, meat is their usual food source. In fact, even food waste and trash are on their menu list!
Tip: Ensure food waste and disposal is emptied regularly or secure with a tight fitting lid to prevent food availability for pests to feed on. Kitchen cleanliness is critical. Make sure there is no food leftover or waste left in the open, or seal all food ingredients in zip lock bags or air-tight containers.
Are you aware of the Points Demerit System (PDS) in place for food operators? A 12-points accumulated demerit points will suspend the business for 1 day, and the suspension period will increase to 2 and 3 days if a 12-points demerit are accumulated after 1st and 2nd suspension. This not only means loss of business revenue with the daily rental and operating cost, but also damaging the brand image and trust among diners. For individual stalls, licenses can be revoked for severe cases.
Do not subject your business with these risks and penalties by cultivating optimal food safety and hygiene standards, and ensure a sound pest management plan is in place.
Our specialists are trained to recommend integrated pest management solutions for your food business. Get started by assessing the risk level of your premise. Get your pest check done here today.