DBKL’s random tests keep food safe

Mahadi taking a sample from a cake stall at the Ramadan bazaar in Taman Tasik Permaisuri, Cheras. – SHAARI CHEMAT /The Star

FOOD safety testing done on samples collected from several Ramadan bazaars by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is keeping traders on their toes.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah said the practice has been effective in combating food contamination.

“Based on our statistics, there was a 19% rate of food pollution at Ramadan bazaars in 2022, a drop from 20% in 2021 and 31% in 2019.

“This downward trend shows that food sample testing is effective.

“We will continue doing it at the 62 Ramadan bazaar locations this year,” he said during the launch of the Food Safety and Zero Single-use Plastic Campaign at KL Ramadan Bazaars 2023 at Taman Tasik Permaisuri in Cheras.

Mahadi said DBKL was targetting to collect 120 food samples daily throughout the month to be sent to the Food Security and Analysis Centre (FoSAC) for testing.

“Compounds will be issued to traders caught flouting laws.

“We will blacklist the traders and will not approve their applications for licences the following year.”

Random spot checks on Ramadan bazaars are being carried out under the Licensing of Food Establishments (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) By-Laws 2016, Food Handlers (Federal Territory) By-laws 1979, Food Act 1983 and Food Hygiene Regulations 2009.

The campaign also bans traders from using plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene to package food at the bazaars.

It is a continuation of the ban on polystyrene packaging that was enforced in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.

The campaign also urges visitors to bring their own containers when buying food at Ramadan bazaars.

To encourage this practice, DBKL gave out 1,000 reusable bags to visitors.

Also present at the launch were the Prime Minister’s political secretary Azman Abidin, DBKL Health and Environment Department director Dr Umi Ahmad and DBKL (socio-economic development) executive director Datuk Azmi Abdul Hamid.

This year, DBKL introduced the Rahmah Bazaar scheme, whereby food truck traders will offer meal options for under RM5.

These budget options are available at all 33 food trucks operating at the Rahmah Bazaar at Lot 4, Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR), behind Campbell Complex, as well as the eight food trucks located at Jalan Raja.

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