Keep it clean or face closure notice, MBKS mayor warns food businesses

Wee speaking about the cleanliness and hygiene of eateries during his live session on Feb 4, 2023.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Feb 4: Kuching South City Council (MBKS) Mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng has warned food premises including stalls that pests like rates and cockroaches as well as a dirty environment and poor hygiene are grounds for closure.

Local councils including MBKS, Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) together with the health authorities are currently conducting a joint operation to inspect the cleanliness of food premises.

Wee was well aware that there have been at least two food premises including those outside MBKS jurisdiction being ordered to close by the health authorities for failing to comply with the cleanliness regulations.

“Of course, we will not issue a notice on the inspection because it is a surprise check.

“Officers are on the move and they will continue to conduct surprise checks on food premises (in Kuching, Samarahan and Padawan areas),” he said during his ShallWEETalk live session with the community today.

With the closure order imposed, Wee said food establishments will have to undertake remedial action to improve the level of cleanliness at the premises within a period of 14 days.

“The health authorities will inspect the premises again before the closure order is lifted.

“This is to ensure food businesses in our city meet the standard of cleanliness as stipulated under the regulation. It is important to protect the health and safety of our consumers by ensuring a satisfactory level of cleanliness at food premises and that food prepared is safe for consumption,” he added.

Among the violations are the presence of rats and cockroaches, an unhygienic way of handling and preparing food such as without wearing hairnets, aprons or other protective gear and smoking.

After the premises cleanliness operation, MBKS will also start grading toilets as well as inspect the use of plastic straws after the ban on such items was enforced beginning Jan 1 this year.

“More such operations will be carried out throughout this year and I hope all food businesses like restaurants, coffeeshops and even stalls can cooperate to ensure a clean and safe environment, toilets included,” he advised. — DayakDaily