NEA steps up enforcement against unhygienic food sellers in 2016

Channel NewsAsia 19 Dec 16;

SINGAPORE: Figures released by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Monday (Dec 19) showed that the agency stepped up enforcement against unhygienic food sellers in 2016, carrying out more inspections and in more instances, taking action against errant sellers compared to last year.

In a media statement, NEA said its officers conducted more than 137,000 inspections and in more than 3,000 instances, took action against unhygienic sellers in the first 11 months of 2016.

The result: 118 sellers had their licences suspended and six of them had their licences revoked entirely - slightly fewer than the 137 who had their licences suspended in the same period last year.

Between Jan and Nov 2015, officers conducted about 136,000 inspections and took action against errant retailers in more than 2,700 instances, NEA said in a similar statement issued last December.

Licensees who are convicted for hygiene lapses may be liable to a fine not exceeding S$2,000 and may have their licences suspended, NEA said.

Noting that food sellers may see an increase in patronage during the festive period, NEA called for them to ensure that good hygiene standards are maintained.

The agency said it would continue inspecting caterers and restaurants, and has issued advisories to food retail operators to tighten supervision of food handlers during this season.

NEA also advised members of the public who come across poor hygiene practices in food establishments not to patronise them and call the 24-hour NEA call centre at 1800 - CALL NEA (1800 - 2255632).


NEA also encouraged consumers and food retail establishment to minimise food waste, especially during the festive season.

Singapore generated 785.5 million kilogrammes of food waste in 2015, said NEA, adding that the amount of has increased by about 45 per cent over the past 10 years and is expected to rise further with a growing population and more economic activity.

NEA urged both consumers and food sellers alike to reduce the amount of food wasted - retailers by not over-purchasing food, and consumers by not over-ordering it.

- CNA/dl

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