DO not use a gloved hand to handle food and then touch money as this can increase risk of pathogen transmission, says a Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) don.
Family medicine specialist Dr Mastura Mohd Sopian said it was commendable that food handlers wear gloves, but they must also be mindful of what else they touch.
“Money has high potential of carrying many pathogens that can cause health issues,” she highlighted.
She said the wearing of gloves by food sellers was optional and should always be done in combination with hand hygiene.
“Clean nails are also vital in serving or handling food,” she added.
Malaysian Public Health Physicians Association advisor Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar agreed that food sellers should not use the same gloved hands to handle money.
“The purpose of wearing gloves is to prevent cross-contamination.
“Food handlers should touch nothing but the food when wearing gloves,” he said.
He advised food handlers to remove their gloves when they need to do other tasks such as accepting cash from customers.
In many visits by StarMetro to Ramadan bazaars, traders were found accepting money with their gloved hands.
Seberang Prai city councillor P. David Marshel concurred that it was unhygienic to use the gloved hands that handled food to touch money.
He advised traders at Ramadan bazaars to adopt cashless transaction methods instead.
“There are many ewallet platforms that they can use and it is easy,” he said.
Food sellers in all areas, not just Ramadan bazaars, should embrace cashless transactions, he added.
Marshel called on bazaar organisers and public market administrators to give more attention to this matter and encourage traders to fully adopt online transactions.