MALAYSIA – The Malaysian Ministry of Health has reported a nationwide decline in the number of food poisoning cases recording 123 cases till September 2021 compared to 288 cases over the same period in the previous year.

The Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, said although the situation is under control, the ministry will continue to implement various promotional activities and interventions to improve the level of food safety and prevent food poisoning to protect the people.

“Food safety is something that must not be taken lightly. Productivity can be increased through the production of safe and quality food via continuous efforts implemented by all stakeholders to ensure food produced is safe for the people,” he said in his speech during the virtual Clean and Safe Market Competition award ceremony.

Khairy said the ministry through its Food Safety and Quality Programme is responsible for ensuring food and raw materials in the local markets comply with the Food Act 1983 and its regulations.

He said based on monitoring activities by the ministry, more than 45,000 samples of food and raw materials including meat, fish, vegetables and fruits from local markets were analyzed from 2018 until August last year.

“Of the total, 5.9 per cent (or 2,654 samples) were found not complying with the Food Act 1983 and the Food Regulations 1985. The ministry will continue to increase monitoring of food and raw materials in the local markets to ensure compliance with both Acts,” he said.

Clean and Safe Market Competition

Meanwhile, on the Clean and Safe Market Competition, which was held nationwide, Khairy said it was aimed at raising awareness among market traders on the importance of food hygiene and safety practices.

He added that it is also to give recognition to the management of markets for successfully ensuring best food hygiene and safety in their respective markets.

According to statistics from the Housing and Local Government Ministry, the local authorities inspected 273 public markets across the country last year in view of such markets being patronized by the public for their daily necessities.

“Various sources of pollution such as microorganisms, chemicals and physical can occur in the market, following any mishandling of raw materials and food. Therefore, the responsible parties must always ensure the cleanliness of raw materials and food sold to the public,” he noted.

In the competition, Pasar Besar Taman Tun Dr Ismail was named the winner for Category A which is for public markets under the management of local councils, while Pasar Wirawati in Kampung Pandan was named second and Pasar Besar Tasek Raja in Pasir Mas, Kelantan was the third winner.

For private markets under the management of supermarkets, Category B, Tesco Lotus Cheng in Melaka was named the winner, while Aeon Kleban came second.

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