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 Local

Sandakan orders 9 food processing factories closed

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Dr Johari (left row, centre) and his team inspecting a food processing factory in Sandakan.

24th February, 2017

By ALIZA ALAWI

SANDAKAN: Nine food processing factories here have been ordered to close due to operating in dirty conditions. Sandakan District Health Officer, Dr. Johari Awang Besar, said the nine premises failed to comply with regulations on hygiene and obtained marks below 55 per cent.

“The factories were given notices to close and will not be allowed to operate for 14 days starting today (Thursday) so they can clean up their premises.

“They have 14 days to do it but if they can rectify all their offences before that they can just call up the enforcement officer of the Health Office to do another inspection. If we are satisfied then they can start operating again,” he said in a press conference after leading a special exercise to inspect food processing factories in Sandakan.

The exercise involved 42 others and was conducted for two days on 22 and 23 February, during which a total of 22 factories were inspected.

These consisted of factories processing fish and fish products, carbonated drinks, dry and wet noodles, cooking oil, coffee powder, cakes and ice blocks.

Dr Johari said the 22 factories were targeted because none had implemented the Food Safety Assurance Programme and upon inspection, were found to be unclean.

The operation yesterday applied the Food Act 1983, Food Regulations 1985 and the Food Hygiene Regulations 2009.

He said the objectives of the operation were to ensure the premises were clean and satisfactory in terms of design and building.

It also checked on food handlers to make sure they themselves were hygienic and avoid practices that could contaminate food as well as inspected that the equipment used were appropriate, clean and easily washed. The Sandakan Health Office is working hard to make the Food Safety Assurance Programme compulsory in all food processing factories in the district.

This is because although there are 96 factories in Sandakan, only a few have implemented the programme while the remainder are not serious about taking up the programme.

“Because so many are not serious about the programme, this operation hopes to show them how serious it is for them to apply it so that their products are safe for public consumption.

“We will help them to implement the programme. If all the factories comply then it will help to address the problem of food poisoning and other related diseases,” he said.

   
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