Mayor: Ipoh eateries urged to get halal certificate to cater wider audience


Ipoh

IPOH: Food industry players in Ipoh are urged to get halal certification to widen their global market.

Mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin said Ipoh City Council aims to turn Ipoh into a gastronomic tourism city, and with halal certification, eateries can cater to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

"If a place is not halal, they can only cater to the non-Muslim market.

"The Muslim market is huge -- there are about one billion Muslims in the world," he said in a press conference after opening an environmental health campaign in conjunction with World Food Safety Day at the Ipoh Convention Centre on Thursday (July 11).

"In China alone, there are about 50 million Muslims," he added.

Earlier in his speech, Rumaizi said eateries, food stalls and food factories that obtained a Grade A certificate for cleanliness are eligible to be considered for halal certification from the Perak Islamic Religious Department (JAIPk).

He said the Grade A certificate from the city council can be used as a prerequisite document for halal certification.

Rumaizi said between January 2023 and June 2024, some 312 food premises had been awarded the Grade A certificate.

"We also awarded 1,745 premises with the Grade B certificate and 44 Grade C certificates," he added.

On the campaign, Rumaizi said it was aimed at creating awareness on the importance of having clean premises to ensure the food sold is clean and safe to be consumed.

"We want to educate the people about food contamination from microorganisms or chemical substances and to teach operators on how to properly handle food preparations.

"We also want to create awareness on the importance of having a clean toilet, cleaning their cooking equipment and utensils properly and proper waste disposal," he said.

Rumaizi said between January and June this year, there had been 134 people who were down with food poisoning, from eight eateries.

He said the city council has conducted 71 operations and checked 634 premises that are related to food in the city this year.

"We have issued 326 compounds worth about RM80,570, revoked the licences of 234 premises, taken legal action in 18 cases and also ordered the closure of two premises," he said.

Rumaizi also said that as of June this year, 70 compounds worth RM14,000 had been issued along with warning letters to premises that did not install grease traps.

He said about 95% of the food premises in the city have installed grease traps that have been approved by the city council.

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