Raising food safety awareness at bazaars

Keeping it clean: Dr Daroyah (in blue) giving out aprons and pamphlets on food safety to hawkers at the Ramadan bazaar in Section 25, Shah Alam for the state-wide food safety campaign. With her are Dr Balachandran (left) and Azhar Ahmad.

RAMADAN bazaar vendors have been urged to be more careful when preparing and handling food to prevent food poisoning cases as in previous years.

Selangor Health, Welfare, Women and Family Affairs committee chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi said the ongoing state-wide food safety campaign was aimed at raising awareness about food safety.

As part of the campaign, she gave out flyers on food safety and aprons to hawkers during her visit to the Ramadan bazaar in Taman Sri Muda, Section 25, Shah Alam.

She said there had been a food poisoning case at the bazaar last year.

“The campaign also aims to increase public awareness on the importance of choosing clean food premises during Ramadan.”

Last year, there were two food poisoning incidents at Ramadan bazaars, with one victim having to be admitted to intensive care unit because of kidney failure.

She said food poisoning could happen when food handlers did not take the food handling course and the level of hygiene was not up to standard.

“We don’t want food poisoning to happen because of carelessness or lack of knowledge when preparing and handling food.

“Aside from ensuring that the food sold is clean and safe to be consumed, traders should ensure that cooked food is not kept for more than four hours at room temperature,” she said.

Also with her were Selangor state health department director Dr S. Balachandran and deputy director (food safety and quality unit) Azhar Ahmad, and Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) licensing deputy director Azhar Sharif.

Balachandran said consumers should choose to buy food from clean stalls.

“If your stall is not clean, you won’t have customers,” he said.

Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) deputy communications director Shahrin Ahmad said there was 103 hawkers at the Taman Sri Muda bazaar, which is one of the 27 bazaar sites within MBSA’s jurisdiction. He added that MBSA had issued permits to more than 2,000 hawkers this year.

“The environment health department will monitor the bazaars.

“We had a briefing on hygiene for all hawkers and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department also gave a talk on the Islamic aspects of hygiene,” he said.

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