Channel NewsAsia

NEA steps up food safety inspections as Lunar New Year approaches

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has stepped up the number of inspections it conducts during the festive season to ensure food safety.

SINGAPORE: With the Lunar New Year approaching, many restaurants and caterers have said they are facing more food orders.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has also stepped up the number of inspections it conducts during the festive season to ensure food safety.

The number of inspections over Christmas and New Year last year and in the build-up to this year's Lunar New Year increased by 27 per cent compared to the previous festive season.

The inspections include measuring and checking the temperature of the food served, to ensure there is no cross-contamination.

And they seem to be working, with the number of hygiene lapses on the part of food retail operators decreasing.

In 2013, NEA issued a total of 2,198 enforcement tickets for hygiene lapses.

This was a drop of 749 tickets compared to the 2,947 issued in the previous year. 

Common offences included failure to keep licensed premises clean and free from pests, as well as failure to register food handlers.

One of the restaurants Channel NewsAsia spoke to said they are also tightening their internal safety measures during the festive season.

Irene Ong, corporate hygiene manager at Shangri-La Hotel, said: "We also carry out more inspections, internal food safety inspections. We usually do it three times a week, now we are doing it more frequently.

“We carry out daily inspections. During the inspections we also remind our chefs to ensure good personal hygiene." 

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