Aug 7, 2008 By WINNIE YEOH
THE public will have to take on a ‘watchdog role’ and report dirty and unhygienic eateries to the authorities whenever they come across such places.
Penang Island Municipal Council’s (MPPP) Urban Ser- vices, Public Health and Licensing department director Dr Goh Kok Yeung said public tip-off would come in handy as the council’s enforcement officers who conduct checks on restaurants, food outlets and street hawkers every week had a large area to cover.
He also said since January, the council had issued about 3,000 compounds to food operators who flouted health regulations and guidelines.
Dr Goh also said the council was continuously conducting awareness programmes for food operators and handlers for free to encourage cleanliness.
Keep your eyes peeled:Fill the tummy but tell on hawkers who fail to uphold hygienic food handling practices.
“It is compulsory for them to attend the programme and they have to be vacci- nated for a minimal charge of RM20,” he said, adding that the council vaccinates an average of 6,000 food operators and handlers yearly.
He said so far the council had not revoked any operation licences but had issued warnings to stall operators who failed to comply with the council’s regulations like wearing aprons and protective caps, gloves, using utensils when handling foods and having proper disposal bins .
He also said each offender would be fined RM20 to RM80 depending on the gravity of the offence.
“These stall operators might ‘behave’ when our officers are there but do otherwise after we leave,” he added.
He also said the council was working closely with the private sector to relocate some hawker stalls to a suitable site
He added that public tip-offs on dirty eateries could be channelled to MPPP’s 24-hour hotline at 04-2637637.