By: B. Goode
In the past few weeks alone, there had been three major cases of food poisoning in Singapore.
Let me ask an honest question. If an NEA officer-on-duty was to see a rat skittering under a non-smoking table with a man smoking at the table what you think the NEA officer would do?
Well, your guess is as good as mine and that is; summon the smoker and pretend not to see the rat.
Dude! One summon will make the government $250 whilst catching the rat will COST the government $250.
But seriously, it was not only because it would be much easier to summon the smoker, it was what the NEA officers had been drilled into their heads for years: Smokers are more dangerous than vermins.
What I am trying to say is that NEA has lost its focus and has almost forgotten about a more important aspect of their brief; food hygiene and food safety.
Let me tell you why.
Go to any MacDonald’s restaurant and what do you see? The food handlers merrily chit-chatting with one another, laughing and sometimes shouting orders to one another whilst preparing food without a single one of them wearing face-mask. If you looked closely, you could almost see their spit raining down the burgers.
And this happens at every fast food restaurants and other restaurants too.
Why are food handlers not required to wear masks? Or was it a case of mask were and are still required but NEA had simply forgotten about it?
If food handlers in highly visible food establishment like the fast food restaurants can be so nonchalant about food hygiene, just imagine what’s happening in the closed-door environment of food caterers?
And how about the food delivery boys and girls? Have they been given the usual immunization given to food handlers? Who is monitoring their health?
One more thing. Before you have your food at a hawker centre, be sure to look up. Chances are you will see birds perching and sometimes even roosting on the beams and pipes above. Do you really think that the birds will excuse themselves to visit the bird-toilet when they feel like pooping? No! Guess where their poop will land on?
Don’t believe me? Just go and visit West Coast Food Centre. The amount of bird shit dangling from the beams and the lights would make you puke.
Hmmm….your Indian Rojak tastes extra salty today eh?
NEA must seriously refocus their priority because if given a choice between getting an unverified probability of getting lung cancer from second smoke and the 100% sure strike diarrhea with a high probability of dying from contaminated food, I’d take my chances with second hand smoke.