KLANG Municipal Council (MPK) wants all food operators, including those at Ramadan bazaars, to stop using staples in food wrappings.
MPK Health Department director Azmi Muji said health inspectors advised traders to seal food packaging with adhesive tape or use thermal heat for plastic clam shells.
He said first-time offenders would be issued a warning and food items sealed with staples would be seized, while repeat offenders would be issued compounds.
Azmi said staples could pose a health risk if swallowed.
“Children are more prone to such accidents and we want all food operators, including provision shops, supermarkets, shopping centres, fast food restaurants, hoteliers, food kiosks and home-based food distributors, to immediately stop using staples in food packing.
“Adopt safer methods so consumers are not exposed to danger,” he added.
Azmi urged food vendors making traditional kuih to revert to old ways of securing banana leaf packaging with dried coconut leaf spines as skewers.
There are 27 Ramadan bazaars with 867 stalls in Klang starting business tomorrow.
Trader Salmah Kiandee, 46, has ceased using staples in her sambal packets after MPK’s health inspectors advised her of the dangers.
Maurice Gomez Abdullah, 53, too said MPK told him to stop using staples to secure tea-time treats like pulut panggang.
On Jan 5, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said food sellers caught using nails, staples or other similarly dangerous items in their packaging could be fined up to RM10,000, jailed two years or both, upon conviction.
He said that between 2019 and 2021, the Health Ministry Food Safety and Quality Division found 19 samples, out of 546 that were tested, containing physical objects like stones, plastic, hair, insects and worms.
Malaysian Federation of Hawkers and Petty Traders Association president Datuk Seri Rosli Sulaiman said traders should stop this dangerous practice as consumers had complained of hawkers’ habit of using staples to pack traditional kuih.