FOUR hotels in Penang have been awarded the ‘Bersih, Selamat dan Sihat’ (BeSS) recognition for having food outlets that are Clean, Safe and Healthy.
The winning hotels are Royale Chulan Hotel in Weld Quay and Hotel Jen Penang in Magazine Road on Penang island, as well as Hotel Seri Malaysia in Kepala Batas and Grand De’ Garden Hotel in Butterworth on the mainland.
Meanwhile, Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort in Tanjung Bungah was given a special award as it was the first and only hotel to get the BeSS recognition in 2016.
Penang Health director Datuk Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah said since April this year, hotels with BeSS recognition had been given “special marks” under the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry’s Star Rating system.
The Penang BeSS recognition is a joint effort between the state and Health Ministry. It was first launched in 2013.
Dr Wan Mansor said there were 9,037 food outlets registered but presently, only 552 of them had the BeSS recognition.
“The state Health Department is aiming for at least a quarter of the food outlets registered to get the BeSS recognition within the next three years.
“We hope that more hotels and nasi kandar outlets will apply to be evaluated for the BeSS recognition in future,” he said at the BeSS recognition certificate presentation in Komtar, Penang, recently.
Dr Wan Mansor added that the state Health Department would collaborate with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to uphold Penang’s status as a clean, safe and healthy food paradise for tourists.
“Since 2013, 552 BeSS recognitions have been given to foodoutlets, of which school canteens have the highest number which is 277.
“In 2018, 410 BeSS recognitions were given out.
“If our officers find out that the food outlets do not uphold the guidelines for the BeSS recognition, the award will be pulled back. But so far, there are no such cases,” he said.
Dr Wan Mansor also urged food outlet operators to apply for the BeSS recognition as it is free.
“There will be evaluation and guidance provided to the operators,” he added.
BeSS is a recognition given to operators of food outlets to encourage the provision of safe and healthy food.
The BeSS recognition is given for free to food outlets that have fulfilled four main criteria.
They are keeping the premises clean, providing safe food, providing healthy food and preparing food in proper serving portions according to individual needs.
The recognition is valid for three years and food outlets will be reviewed after it has expired.