Ensure hawker food is clean, proper
Published on: Monday, June 15, 2020
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Pic (Bernama) for illustration only.
AS we emerge from the movement control order (MCO) hibernation, we should consider how we as citizens should live in a post-lockdown world.

The standard of public hygiene must be raised higher and enforced by all authorities, from the Health Ministry to local council enforcement officers.

In Malaysia, we are proud of our hawker and street food culture. Some have even quipped that a bit of roadside dirt makes our hawker offerings special. Our love for street food is so deep that some were prepared to violate the MCO just to satisfy their urge for nasi lemak and char koay teow.

But while Covid-19 remains a threat, we can no longer allow food vendors and their workers to be careless about hygiene. 

In the past, the worst consumers had to suffer from eating bad food was a personal bout of diarrhoea. 

Now, it will take only one Covid-19 infected stall owner or his helper to spread illness, suffering and possibly death to hundreds in a matter of days.

It has been reported that the SARS-Cov-2 virus can remain on plastic, glass and steel surfaces for up to three days. 

It cannot be destroyed just by wiping surfaces with a wet rag, the common practice in roadside stalls and coffee shops now.

The relevant authorities must step up to ensure food is served only in spaces with proper water supply and sanitation. 

Sinks, clean water, detergent and soap must be readily available to all food preparers, cooks, vendors and servers. 

Premises without clean water and detergent cannot be allowed to operate.

Turning a blind eye to these critical requirements is tantamount to aiding and abetting the spread of disease.


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