<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR>Yes, allow only one pass grade in hawker stall hygiene
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<!-- START OF : div id="storytext"--><!-- more than 4 paragraphs -->I AGREE with Mr Ace Kindred Cheong's letter last Thursday, 'Allow only hawkers with 'A' hygiene grade', in which he suggested that only one grade in health safety and cleanliness be given to all hawker stalls. They either pass or fail to qualify for a licence to run a stall.
The grading system is not a job performance or academic rating system. The qualifying criteria must be set in clear, observable behavioural terms that determine what are acceptable hygiene conditions and practices.
Despite the regular checks the National Environment Agency (NEA) claims to perform and enforce, the habit of handling food with clean gloves is a rare sight. I have seen food stalls with a 'B' grade sign where stallholders handle equipment and food ingredients without wearing gloves. In other cases, gloves are not taken off when they use grimy, soiled rags to clean tables and other surfaces.
Tables in hawker centres, coffee shops and even air-conditioned foodcourts are never cleaned thoroughly, regardless of the crowd. The usual practice is merely to use a soiled and overused rag to scoop food remains off the table, and wiping only the affected part of the table with the same rag.
One practice that is typical of stalls selling Indian mee goreng is hitting the ladle on the frying pan many times before scraping and scooping up the food. It is therefore not uncommon to find your plate of mee goreng sprinkled with bits of black, burnt scraps that apparently come from the bottom of the frying pan.
Eating out at hawker centres and coffee shops is part of our national culture. Raise the bar on hygiene and cleanliness. There is no room for compromise. Another life may be lost needlessly if the NEA fails to act promptly. Koh Kim Eng
Can! Will up rental to make up for revenue loss! U want ah? *chey*