21 food retailers allowed to sell raw fish dishes using saltwater fish

Today Online 3 Feb 16;

SINGAPORE — Twenty-one foodstalls and caterers have been given permission to sell ready-to-eat raw fish dishes using saltwater fish and six more applications are being processed, said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor today (Feb 3)

“These licensees have applied to use raw salmon from certified sources for these (ready-to-eat) raw fish dishes. Another six licensees have submitted their applications, and we are working to let these applicants know the status of their applications by Feb 5,” she said in an update on her Facebook page.

Last December, the authorities imposed a ban on the use of freshwater fish in all ready-to-eat raw fish dishes, after tests by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) showed that freshwater fish have “significantly higher” bacterial contamination than saltwater fish, and are likely to present higher risks of infection.

Following the ban, food stalls in hawker centres, coffeeshops, canteens and food courts, as well as food establishments providing catering services were also required to stop the sale of all ready-to-eat raw fish dishes using saltwater fish until they could comply with the practices required for such dishes.

In her post, Dr Khor also said that the AVA has also been engaging suppliers to ensure that they have sufficient capacity to bring in more saltwater fish to be used for such dishes in the lead up to the Chinese New Year.

For a list of retail food establishments which have been given the NEA’s approval, check the NEA website (https://eservices.nea.gov.sg/TR/) or the myENV mobile application.


Stall owners selling raw fish put additional food safety measures in place
Some of the 21 stall owners and caterers that have been approved to sell ready-to-eat raw fish dishes using saltwater fish have put in place additional food safety measures, on top of the requirements by the National Environment Agency (NEA).
Channel NewsAsia 4 Feb 16;

SINGAPORE: Some of the 21 stall owners and caterers that have been approved to sell ready-to-eat raw fish dishes using saltwater fish have put in place additional food safety measures, on top of the requirements by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

One of them, Ah Chiang Porridge's owner Mr Chin Koon Bin, monitors his workers on a closed-circuit television camera while they work in the kitchen, so he can check on their food handling practices.

"Though I have told my guys verbally how they should handle the fishes, but when it comes to practical (execution), definitely there will be some differences. So through this camera surveillance, I can see if they have made any mistakes, (and if they) followed the steps that the company requires them to do," said Mr Chin.

Another hawker, Ms Leong Soo Mei, has bought a new chiller and makes sure the workers wear gloves when handling food. She said she has spent about S$5,000 to improve the stall.

Meanwhile, some stallholders also said NEA has done frequent checks since their application to sell ready-to-eat raw fish dishes was approved.

But even with these measures, some consumers told Channel NewsAsia that they still plan to avoid eating raw fish dishes this Chinese New Year, with some saying that they are still fearful about eating such dishes.

- CNA/dl

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