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Do Malaysian Restaurants Have a Hygiene Issue?

Do Malaysian Restaurants Have a Hygiene Issue?
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Malaysia is among the best destinations to offer a plethora of edible food. It holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and foreigners alike!

However, despite a high rate of people eating out, a common dilemma occurs in many eateries around the country.

It’s not uncommon to see a coffee shop or food stall cordoned off with yellow tape and closed temporarily due to poor hygiene in the shop or issues such as rat infestation, findings of rat feces, and overall dirtiness.

Neither is it uncommon to hear the occasional food poisoning story from a family member or friend.

So, the question is, are Malaysian eateries having difficulty in maintaining hygiene? And if so, then why?

Recently, several restaurants in Penang were forced to shut down due to poor hygiene conditions. Some 15 restaurants in Subang Jaya were given a minimum three days shut down notice by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council last year.

The viral video of Raj’s Banana Leaf’s employees washing dishes in puddle water, lead to its shut down.  Subsequently, five other restaurants in Petaling Jaya also shut down due to unhygienic practices. Similar accounts of eateries shutting down were observed in other states as well.

Despite the maintenance of hygiene being a pivotal requirement in the service of eateries, negligence of proper, hygienic practices by restaurants has been occurring annually.

 What are restaurant operators not doing right?

99.5% of foreign workers who were tested by researchers were found to be carrying microbes. These microbes could cause food poisoning and even death.  Moreover, a small percentage of them even harbored antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Another recent article from the Star reported that a total of 136 people were checked if they were given typhoid jabs. Out of 94 foreigners, the majority of them fulfilled this requirement  Instead, it was a majority of the locals who did not get the typhoid jabs.

This causes an increase in the likelihood of susceptibility to bacteria deposited in water or food carried by cooks and waiters. Hence, increasing the risk of patrons contracting typhoid fever.

Major contributors for the shutting down of eateries include dirty cooking utensils and premises, as well as unhygienic practices.

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