IT is timely for Health Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam to issue a stern warning that action will be taken against dirty eateries and the premises will face closure if owners fail to comply with health regulations.
Enough information and admonition have been given to food operators and it is time to crackdown on dirty eateries which refuse to abide by the health regulations on cleanliness.
Recently, much has been publicised about the leptospirosis problem caused by rat urine which can cause death.
Arising from the leptospirosis-related deaths, cleanliness of eateries must be given top priority by food operators.
Owners of eateries who fail to keep their premises clean at all times must be held accountable and action must be taken against them under the Food Hygiene Regulations.
According to Dr Subramaniam, up to May this year a total of 995 eateries out of the 44,860 premises checked had been ordered to close for failing to comply with health regulations.
Apart from dirty and unhygienic restaurants and eateries, safety is another issue.
This involves restaurants which place their tables and chairs outside their business premises thereby obstructing sidewalks and taking up carpark space.
Some 24-hour restaurants even place their tables and chairs on road kerbs fronting a busy road.
Those who patronise these eateries and occupy the tables fronting a busy road are constantly exposed to danger as they can be potential victims of road accidents.
There were occasions in the past when speeding vehicles went out of control and ended up hitting customers seated at the road kerbs.
In the interest of public safety, local authorities should be tough and disallow food operators from placing their tables along road kerbs fronting busy roads.
The public should be advised not to sit-and-eat along road kerbs as they can be potential victims of road accidents.
Similarly they should also not patronise dirty eateries which will have adverse effect on their health.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE
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