Widen the net on dirty outlets

The Consumers’ Association of Penang commends the health authorities for taking a bold move in closing down dirty restaurants in the state.

Every year more than a thousand offences are recorded. This should not be the case anymore. We should aim for zero offences.

According to our survey on food outlets, we found poor hygienic conditions not only in restaurants, but also in hawker stalls, canteens in schools, hospitals and other institutions. We can still find stray cats and crows waiting off the uncleared plates on the tables. Many of the outlets are also home to rats and cockroaches.

Therefore, we urge the authorities to widen the scope of their raids to include all types of food outlets and this should be carried out nationwide. Food poisoning should be taken seriously and there should be no compromise on public health.

For greater effectiveness in the drive towards hygienic food outlets, CAP urges the authorities to:

— Make it mandatory for all food handlers to attend food handling courses every year

— Establish a 24 hour hotline for members of public to call and complain if they come across any dirty food handlers or outlets.

Press release, 27 Feb. 2015