Cleanliness is something that cannot be compromised at restaurants, food courts and other eateries. It is not something just for campaign slogans or publicity but must be seen to be practised. Everyone knows the importance of cleanliness. However, the fact remains that dirty and unhygienic restaurants, food courts and eateries still exist. Some errant ones have even gone viral on social media.In fact, social media today plays an effective role in exposing eateries that do not practice cleanliness and hygiene.

On several occasions, I have witnessed dirty kitchens and toilets which make you lose your appetite.Does this reflect well on restaurant operators who pay scant regard to licensing rules and regulations?Are they aware that they are infringing sanitation and safety regulations under the Food Act 1983?Many of those preparing and serving food do not wear hairnets, gloves and aprons.No matter whether in the urban or the rural areas, many restaurants and eateries have cleanliness issues which need to be addressed.According to media reports, rats and cockroaches were found when inspections were carried out.

Both customers and food operators must know the importance of hygiene and cleanliness.Food and restaurant operators should be more responsible in conducting their businesses and be more wary of the harmful consequences of not practising cleanliness and hygiene.This is all the more critical in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.Is it too difficult to ensure that premises are hygienic?I don’t think it’s harder than maintaining the trust of the customers.Every now and then, we hear and read about eateries and restaurants being ordered to cease operations due to cleanliness issues.

Customers who come across dirty eateries must not hesitate to come forward and lodge complaints.With many new contagious diseases and viruses emerging, everyone must acknowledge the importance of hygiene.Health authorities too need to be more proactive. They need to conduct regular and surprise checks at all food premises.As customers, we need to make wise choices when patronising restaurants and eateries.Cleanliness should always be practised. If we take this matter lightly, we are not only exposing ourselves to food poisoning but also other diseases.


Chairman, Alliance For Safe Community