Eye on drinks vendors at bazaars

Checks on drinks vendors and food traders will be conducted randomly at the 26 Ramadan bazaar sites under the council’s jurisdiction.

DRINKS stalls offering “air balang” or colourful iced offerings are a mainstay at Ramadan bazaars, popular with those searching for thirst quenchers.

But just how safe is the water used in these drinks? This was one of several issues brought up at the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) full board meeting yesterday.

MPKj president Najmuddin Jemain said the jurisdiction for food safety ultimately laid with the Hulu Langat District Health Office’s Quality and Food Safety Department.

As to whether checks are carried out to ensure the water in the “air balang” is safe for consumption, he said the health office and MPKj should join forces so that their teams could jointly monitor these traders.

With 26 Ramadan bazaars under the local council’s purview at present, he said checks of “air balang” as well as other items would be done at random.

He said MPKj’s licensing and traders department would be making frequent trips to the bazaars to ensure hygiene standards were adhered to.

“But unless we receive public complaints of food poisoning, it is not possible to detect if a trader has compromised on food safety during the preparation stage.

“We urge people to inform us if they have suffered food poisoning after consuming food sold at these bazaars,” he added.

Najmuddin said MPKj’s enforcement team would also be on the lookout for parking offenders at the bazaars.

“Illegal traders who think they can circumvent the council’s licensing procedures by setting up stalls at the fringes of these bazaars will also come under the enforcement team’s radar.

“One reason we are doing this is to control traffic congestion.”

Najmuddin announced that none of the 77 council employees tested positive in the urine test for illegal drugs in January and February.

He said these tests conducted by the National Anti-Drugs Agency were a norm at government agencies as a way to uphold integrity.

Those who fail the test face serious consequences, including dismissal.

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