HOME-based biscuit sellers in Perak are relieved that they need not label their product containers.
Following recent enforcement of this ruling in Penang, many traders here were anxious that Perak would follow suit, causing many to fear baking or selling the cookies for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration.
Perak health and consumer affairs committee chairman A. Sivanesan said the label ruling would not be enforced in the state.
A market trader in Taman Cempaka, See Ah Fong, 69, said she had been buying and selling home-made biscuits at her stall for the past 30 years.
“I am glad the directive is not enforced as yet, because at this age it will be difficult for me to label my products, ” she said.
On Dec 13, The Star reported that traders selling home-made cookies in Penang were disgruntled over a Health Department directive to strictly enforce labels on their products containers detailing among others, the ingredients used.
Many claimed that they were unaware of such a rule and unsure of the details required to be put on the labels.
Penang Health Department director Dr Asmayani Khalib had said that home-made food products for sale must have labels in accordance with the Food Regulations (1985) except for items that are weighed and measured in the presence of the buyers.
She said the department carried out enforcement operations on product packaging occasionally, especially during festive seasons to ensure food products sold complied with the guidelines under the regulations.
Another trader, Wong Mee Lan, 51, said she was relieved with the news as she did not know how to label her products.
Wong, who has been in the cookie business for the past 20 years, said she made her own peanut biscuits, kuih kapit (love letters) and kuih bakul (nian gao).
“I am not sure how to prepare labels as this is a small business, and the recipes were passed down by my parents, ” she added.
Over at the Kampung Simee market, Hor Kok Leong, 50, said he was also glad the ruling was not enforced.
“If there is such a ruling, I will need my friend’s help to label the products.
“My speciality includes kuih kapit, pineapple tarts and chicken floss biscuits, ” he added.
Canning assemblyman Jenny Choy said she checked with Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen over the issue and was assured that no enforcement was being carried out.
“Home-based biscuit sellers need not worry as they can continue selling their products.
“With it being Christmas and Chinese New Year, there are many people selling home-made biscuits and cookies who were worried about such a ruling.
“The Health Department only encourages containers to be labelled, ” she added.
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