SIBU: The municipal council here has warned about 120 coffeeshop operators to clean up their outlets or risk losing their licences.
These coffeeshops are rated Grade C under the council’s cleanliness and hygiene rating system and are identifiable by the red plate hung in front of their premises.
Only 20 coffeeshops have been rated Grade A – the highest rating; while another 30 are Grade B outlets.
Council chairman Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew said the Grade C coffeeshops had to immediately improve their hygiene level or would automatically lose their licences. However, no deadline was set for them to buck up.
The areas they have to improve include the general cleanliness of their premises, including toilets.
Food handlers are required to use tongs and ladles instead of their bare hands when preparing or serving food.
Lau, who is also MP for Sibu, said the council wanted the town to have only Grade A and B coffeeshops and eateries to safeguard public health and to create a good impression among visitors, particularly tourists.
He said the council had declared the year 2003 as “Hygiene Year”‘ to upgrade the hygiene and cleanliness of all eateries and public places.
“The effort requires the co-operation of everyone to help by not littering so as to make the town clean,” he said.
Lau said the council had already made good progress in the town’s beautification and landscape programmes over the years and hence now wanted to embark on a programme to upgrade the cleanliness of all eateries and public places.
He also said the land next to the scenic Town Square would be turned into an area of makeshift stalls for the sale of Chinese New Year goods later this month.