15 food businesses get Grade A certification

James Kon

Fifteen food businesses were awarded Grade A for their excellent standards of hygiene and food safety, under a grading programme for food premises conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The awards ceremony was held at the MoH’s Al-’Afiah Hall yesterday, with Permanent Secretary at the MoH Haji Abdul Manap bin Othman, as the guest of honour.

The ceremony also witnessed 66 more food premises awarded with the Grade B certification.

The grading programme is one of the indicators on the status of cleanliness and sanitation at food premises. It is carried out through a detailed assessment on the critical factors affecting the quality and food safety during handling, preparing, storing and serving of food to the public.

The businesses listed under the new programme are restaurants and food eateries, hotel kitchens, bakeries, food courts, and food trucks or vans (to be implemented in stages).

Permanent Secretary at the MoH Haji Abdul Manap bin Othman presents the certificate to a representative of KFC (B) Airport Mall branch
Recipients during the ceremony. PHOTOS: JAMES KON

Head of the Food Safety and Quality Control Division under the Health Environment Service Department at the MoH Dr Noraskhin binti Haji Mohd Fadillah said, “Unsafe food and food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites or dangerous chemicals can cause more than 200 types of diseases, including cancer.

“Food-borne disease is the main cause of mortality and death globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unsafe food has caused 600 million cases of food-borne diseases and 420,000 deaths across the world.”

“Therefore, food safety needs to be a priority in every level of the food chain to prevent food contamination.

“The entrepreneurs play a vital role in continuing to increase cleanliness at food premises and instilling good practices in the handling of food, to prevent any incidences of food-borne disease. One of the efforts by the Ministry of Health, in making sure that food safety is guaranteed and the hygiene level of the premises are in good condition, is through routine checks on businesses.”

“The programme was carried out by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) until 2016, with the cooperation of government departments including the Health Services Department; the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe); district offices; municipal departments; and NGOs.

“The Ministry of Health has reviewed the suitability and implementation of the programme that is currently known as the food premise grading programme, starting this year.”

Also present at the awards ceremony was Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Management) at the MoH Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin.