PETALING JAYA: The Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) Market in Kuala Lumpur has been recognised as the cleanest and safest public market by the Health Ministry while in the private category, Lotus's Cheng store in Melaka is number one.
These two markets emerged as first place winners in their respective categories in the Health Ministry's Clean and Safe Markets Competition, which saw 21 finalists nationwide in two categories.
The TTDI Market emerged as the winner among 12 finalists in Category A for public markets under the management of associations within the administrative area of local authorities while Lotus's Cheng, which was among the nine finalists in Category B, took first place in the category for privately-run markets.
For Category A, the second place winner went to Wirawati Market in Kuala Lumpur while the Tasek Raja Market in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, took third place.
AEON Klebang in Ipoh and AEON Queensbay Mall, Penang, took second and third place, respectively, for Category B.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said following the World Food Safety Day 2020 theme which focused on Safe Food in Markets, the Ministry's Food Safety and Quality Division in collaboration with the Housing and Local Government Ministry organised the national-level Clean and Safe Markets Competition this year.
"The competition was aimed at increasing awareness among traders on the importance of food safety and cleanliness and also to give due recognition to the market management that have successfully managed the aspects of food hygiene and safety in the public market with excellence, promoted good hygiene practices in the public market and succeeded in ensuring the new norms are always adhered to for the good of public health.
"In addition to giving recognition to the market management, it also creates healthy competition among local authorities as public market administrators to improve the level of market cleanliness in their respective areas," he said in his speech during the Clean and Safe Market Award ceremony on Wednesday (Nov 24).
He also revealed that in Malaysia, episodes of food poisoning were still at a controllable level, with the Ministry recording a 57% decrease of such incidents up to September this year compared to last year.
Based on the Health Ministry's data, incidents of food poisoning reported until September 2021 showed a 57% decrease to 123 episodes nationwide from 288 episodes in 2020.
"Due to this, the Ministry will continue to implement various promotional activities and interventions to increase the level of food safety and prevent food poisoning incidents in order to protect public health," he said.
Khairy added that the Ministry, through its Food Safety and Quality Programme, is responsible for ensuring that food and raw materials in the local market comply with the Food Act 1983 and its regulations.
From the Ministry's monitoring activities between 2018 and August 2021, more than 45,000 samples of food and raw materials including meat, fish, vegetables and fruits in the local market were analysed, he said.
"Of this number, 2,654 or 5.9% of the sample were found to have not complied with the Food Act 1983 and the Food Regulations 1985," he said.
A total RM661,445.00 worth of fines were issued towards traders found to be guilty.
"The Ministry will continue to increase monitoring of food and raw materials in the local market to ensure compliance with the Food Act 1983 and the Food Regulations 1985," said Khairy.