Keeping an eye on markets

  • Metro News
  • Monday, 07 Sep 2020

Vidyananthan (middle) launching the state-level World Food Safety Day at a hypermarket in Johor Baru. Looking on are Johor Health Department director Dr Aman Rabu (left) and deputy Health Department head of food safety and quality unit, Zalilah Nasir.

JOHOR BARU: Market operators in Johor have been told to ensure products sold by traders are safe and fresh for the public to consume.

State health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said there were many aspects that should be stressed upon to ensure food items at markets were safe for consumption.

“The traders must wash their hands before and after handling food, and especially after using the toilet.

“They need to be constantly aware of both personal hygiene and general cleanliness.

“They must offer only the best to their customers, and not take risks with their safety.

“Be it supply of raw items, cooked food, packaged food or other items, make sure they are in good condition, fresh and will not become a health hazard.

“The other measures these market traders or its management can take include pest control activities to keep the market area clean and free of rats and other insects and animals,” said Vidyananthan in his speech at a state level World Food Safety Day celebration at a hypermarket here.

He reminded market operators to take immediate action if rat droppings or urine traces were found in the premises.

“If using pesticides, do not do so near food preparation areas.”

Vidyananthan said market traders must also monitor temperature control for raw food items such as chicken and fish, which need to be kept frozen or cold.

“When displaying them for customers to select, keep these items in ice or else they will go bad and affect the consumers,” he said.

He emphasised another important aspect at markets was labelling of items sold, especially packaged food.

“Customers must know what they are buying, so the labels must contain information on the products, especially ingredients used and the expiry dates,” he explained.

Vidyananthan said Johor Health Department, through the district health offices, would carry out enforcement measures and monitoring under the Food Act 1983, Food Rules 1985 and Food Cleanliness Rules 2009.

“This is to ensure food premises such as markets, restaurants, canteens, catering companies, raw items suppliers and even food processing factories adhered to the regulations on food security for the public.

“The government takes this matter very seriously and any violation will not be tolerated.

“We will go all out to make sure food security is not compromised and is always at the highest level, in line with global development,” he added.

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