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03/10/17: ‘Food safety not to be taken lightly’

nasipadang_st_CopyFood poisoning cases in Perak Malaysia most frequently take place in school canteens, State Health Committee Chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said.

Of the 54 cases reported last year, Dr Mah said 37 took place in school canteens.

“Between January and September this year, seven food poisoning cases were reported in school canteens.

“These cases make up a third of the total of 21 food poisoning cases reported in the state so far,” Dr Mah said aat the closing of the state-level Food Safety Awards organised by the Perak Health Department’s Food Safety and Quality Unit last Wednesday.

He revealed that incidents involving institutions of higher learning, restaurants, and food prepared by caterers also occurred although to a lesser extend.

Dr Mah said most cases of food poisoning are the result of improper food handling and raw foods being stored at incorrect temperatures.

“Food safety is not something to be taken lightly and requires the cooperation of all quarters.

“As such, the department’s Food Safety and Quality Unit is constantly monitoring food premises in the state. Inspections are conducted every month to ensure the public is not exposed to unhygienic eateries as well as to make sure there are no cockroaches, flies, rats, or other verminpresent in these premises,” he said, adding that a total of 7,684 food premises throughout the state were inspected as of August this year.

Of the number, 83 were ordered to close after failing to meet requir­ed health standards while another 509 were issued with fines amounting to RM228,000, Dr Mah said.

“Last year, a total of 13,199 food premises were inspected with 130 ordered to close and fines amounting to RM209,000 issued to 468 premises,” he added.

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