CLEAN toilets in food outlets are one of the main criteria Ipoh folk will consider before dining at a premises.
Many of them opined that cleanliness of toilets would reflect the overall cleanliness of the shops and the food they served.
Clerk Leong Lee Fong, 50, said she would only frequent eateries with clean toilets.
“I will never go to an eatery with dirty toilets no matter how good the food is.
“I am not comfortable and will
not have appetite to eat knowing that the toilets are filthy,” said Leong.
“For me, cleanliness is a must.
“I just do not want anything to happen to me or to my family,” said the mother of three.
It was reported recently that
only 350 toilets or 3% of 10,257
public toilets nationwide received five-star ratings from an audit
conducted by the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry.
Retired cook P.C. Low said the cleanliness of toilets at eateries reflected the general cleanliness of the premises.
Low, in his late 60s, said the cleanliness of the toilet would mean that the manager or the owner of the eatery prioritised hygiene.
“Cleanliness and food hygiene are important issues.
“No eateries would want to be known for causing food poisoning.
“It not only causes the restaurant to lose its business but also to lose its reputation,” he said.
Land development executive Syukri Ismail, 25, said he would avoid using toilets in restaurants when dining out.
“Dirty toilets would cause me to lose my appetite,” he said.
He said that there were some restaurants that neglected the cleanliness of their toilets because of their good business.
“I guess the workers are too busy to handle droves of customers and do not have time to clean their toilets from time to time,” he said.
Syukri said that while Ipoh folk generally had a high tolerance for unhygienic toilets, eatery operators must also think of tourists from other countries.
“Clean the toilets regularly so that tourists would have a good impression of restaurants in Ipoh,” he urged.
Restaurant Endah Maju operator Mohd Iqbal Mydin, 47, said they would clean their toilet three times a day — morning, afternoon and evening.
“I have been doing so even when I operated a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur few years ago.
“This is to ensure patrons have a pleasant dining experience,” he said.
Mohd Iqbal said it was important for restaurant operators to maintain cleanliness of the premises whether it was in the kitchen, toilet or the dining area.
C.Y. Poh, who runs 668 Coffeeshop, said patrons would shy away from eateries with dirty toilets no matter how delicious the food was.
“They would also look at the certificate of cleanliness displayed in the shop,” he said.
Ipoh City Council officers, he said, would also conduct inspections regularly to check on the hygiene of the premises.
Poh said he would ask his workers to clean the coffee shop once in the morning and at night.
A Japanese restaurant manager, who only wished to be known as Lee, said restaurant operators must be alert if there were any defects in the toilets.
“They must be ready to replace faulty flush valves or tanks.
“Empty toilet rolls should also be replaced from time to time,” she said.
Air fresheners, she added, should also be used to ward off odour.
“We have also put up signboards to remind users to flush after using the toilet, and hope they could do their part to maintain the cleanliness,” she said.
Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim said as of October this year, the city council had checked 905 restaurant premises, in which only toilets at nine eateries were graded with five stars.
He said 70 restaurants were graded with four stars, 216 with three, 375 with two, 193 with one, and 42 without stars.
Roshidi also said 15 compounds with a total of RM3,050 were
issued this year, compared to 24 compounds (RM4,950) issued last year.
“We have also issued 76 notices to warn premises to keep their toilets clean or face fines.
“About 275 verbal notices
were also given as ‘educational enforcement’ to premises to buck up on the cleanliness of their toilets,” he said.
“The educational enforcement activities by the city council and health department will continue to ensure all toilet premises are clean as Visit Malaysia Year 2014 approaches,” he added.