KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will take action against traders who sell contaminated food, violate food handling and hygienic practices or use non-biodegradable packaging.
“Traders can be fined up to RM1,000 for using non-biodegradable packaging or up to RM2,000 for food and hygiene-related offences under the Food Handling By-law 1979,” said DBKL Health and Environment Department director Datin Dr Noor Akma Shabuddin.
“Traders found committing such offences will be blacklisted by the Licensing Department and they cannot apply for trading licences in future.”
Noor Akma, who was representing Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan, said this after launching DBKL’s Food Safety Operations programme for Ramadan bazaars at Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
According to DBKL, there are 53 Ramadan bazaars with over 4,000 trading lots in Kuala Lumpur.
Forty-eight of the bazaars are managed by DBKL and the remaining five are handled by traders associations.
“We expect to collect 1,500 food samples from bazaars across all 11 parliamentary constituencies in Kuala Lumpur during Ramadan,” said Noor Akma.
“These samples will be sent to DBKL’s food quality lab to be analysed for five kinds of germs or microbes.
“Based on previous experience, food that is at high risk of contamination are santan-based dishes or those that contain raw ingredients such as salad.
“The most common bacteria found are E. coli and coliform.
“We hope that the percentage of contaminated food samples will go down this year,” she said, adding that of the 704 samples collected last year, 29.4% were contaminated with 75 compounds issued.
As part of the mandatory briefing held ahead of Ramadan bazaars, Noor Akma said traders were reminded how to prepare and handle food properly and hygienically, such as using tongs to pick up the food, wearing apron and headgear and obtaining typhoid shots.
Federal Territories Health Department deputy director Sazalee Harun said the department would work with DBKL to collect random food samples at Ramadan bazaar stalls.
In line with the government’s efforts to ensure sustainability and reduce environmental pollution, Noor Akma said traders were prohibited from using polystyrene containers and non-biodegradable plastic bags.
She said they could only use packaging classified by Sirim as biodegradable or compostable.