The authorities and health inspectors must step up to the plate and ensure that high standards of hygiene are maintained in all restaurants, says JD Lovrenciear.
The authorities’ closures of several restaurants in Penang in recent months should send a signal to all Malaysians – health inspectors, customers and business operators alike.
The rats and rodent infestation found in certain restaurants is not a rare find.
Unfortunately those in the food and restaurant business largely do well in the dolling up of their outlets while the awareness and compliance of health and hygiene remain lacking.
Unfortunately too customers are still far off from becoming discerning first-world consumers, many of whom will simply boycott dirty premises without hesitation.
Hence the efficiency of health inspectors who put public health and safety well above the temptations that accompany the tutup-satu-mata (close-one-eye) practice are the best bet in ensuring that food preparation, handling and storage adhere to strict standards.
While business operators may be quick to cry over the loss of business or all too quickly seek refuge behind excuses like “we are sorry for the oversight”, as citizens we must know our ethical business rights and responsibilities.
If you want to make money from your good food and secret recipes, you must comply with established standards.
Whether it is hygiene, health or safety – the restaurant business is more than simply selling and making money from tasty food. There is a moral responsibility to ensure that what customers eat is always safe, clean and healthy.
Hopefully other municipal and town planning councils and health inspectors will step up to the plate and ensure that good hygiene and health standards are observed at restaurants, given that threat of rat and pest infestation is never far.