MoH specifies food premises grading programme

James Kon

Details on the food premises grading programme undertaken by the Ministry of Health (MoH) were presented by Senior Health Officer at the Food Safety and Quality Control Division Mahani binti Haji Muhammad under the MoH’s Health Services Department.

The presentation was delivered at the MoH’s Al-’Afiah Hall yesterday, jointly with a certificate awarding ceremony for 81 food businesses nationwide.

Mahani said that the assessment and criteria for grading are done throughout the year, with two inspections carried out during the duration of the assessment.

“The points will be collected and calculated on average at the end of the assessment. The given grade is based on the averaged scores,” she said.

The components for the grading assessment are food supply, storage, preparation, presentation, handling, hygiene, cleanliness of the toilets, rubbish management, vector control, the condition of the premises and equipment, as well as documentation and management.

Senior Health Officer at the Food Safety and Quality Control Division Mahani binti Haji Muhammad delivers her speech. PHOTO: JAMES KON

“The other requirements for grading,” she continued, “are that the food premises must be recorded under the Registry of Companies and Business Names, or possess a 16/17 certification.

“Food premises undergoing renovation work will need to have approval from the Authority for Building Control and Construction Industy (ABCi), while newly-opened food premises still undergoing renovation can only be assessed after six months of operation at the same location or after the renovation work is complete.

“The Grade A certificate is for 91 to 100 per cent (Excellent), while Grade B is for 81 to 90 per cent (Very good). Grade C is 70 to 80 per cent (Good), while food premises scoring 69 per cent and below will not get any certification.

“The grade certification must be displayed in the restaurant. The list of restaurants that have received the grading will be displayed at” Mahani added that the certification could be revoked “if the food premises have shifted location during the period of assessment, or involved in food poisoning or food-borne disease.

The certificate can also be revoked if the food premises are closed, or if the inspection assessment has dropped to unsatisfactory (69 per cent and under) during the grading period.

“The owner/manager of the premises may appeal to the Director of Environmental Health if they intend to improve the given grading, or if the grading certification for the food premises has been withdrawn for review within six months.”