Food operators still using newspapers as wrappers

KUALA LUMPUR: Some errant food operators are still using newspapers to wrap food, says Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Under Regulation 35 of the Food Hygiene Regulations 2009, a food handler must ensure the food is not in direct contact with material that can contaminate it.

Dr Noor Hisham said food operators can only use newspapers to wrap food with several conditions.

“The newspaper can only be used as a second layer to wrap the food and not directly in contact with the food.

“A transparent plastic or banana leaf must be used as the first layer of protection for the food. “The first layer must be clean,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said that contamination could also happen when the food handler touches the newspaper first and later touches the food directly.

“Newspapers should also not be used to absorb oil from fried food,” he added.

It had been reported previously that using newspapers to soak the oil off fried food was a risky practice as the chemicals in the ink might contain cancer-causing elements.

Dr Noor Hisham urged Malaysians to report errant food operators to the ministry through the state health department or district health office.

Those who fail to abide by the law can be jailed for a maximum of two years and fined no more than RM10,000, upon conviction.

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