Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Food Safety Guidelines by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Dr Wan Rizal: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment in light that 43 food operators were warned after their staff were found not wearing a mask or a spit guard while preparing food (a) what additional steps will the Ministry take to improve public awareness about the importance of adhering to food safety guidelines and the consequences of non-compliance; and (b) how does the Ministry plan to support food operators in ensuring that their staff are properly trained and equipped to follow food safety guidelines.
1 The requirement for food handlers to wear a mask or spit guard has been in place since April 2020. Following the easing of national COVID-19 mask-wearing requirements in August 2022, SFA has conducted multiple industry engagements and issued repeated advisories though media statements, and posters, to remind food establishment operators of this food safety requirement and to raise public awareness. SFA’s publicity on enforcement action serve as further reminders to licensees on their responsibilities.
2 All food handlers in retail food establishments are required to pass the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Food Safety Course Level 1 as part of licensing requirements. From 1 July 2023, this requirement will be extended to non-retail food establishments. Food handlers are also required to renew their food safety training certification periodically through attending refresher courses. To support the training of food handlers, SFA has approved 79 training providers for the WSQ Food Safety Course Level 1 to ensure that training courses are readily available. SkillsFuture Singapore also offers course subsidies to eligible individuals and Small and Medium Enterprises sending their employees for WSQ Food Safety Courses.