44.2% drop in food poisoning cases in 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of food poisoning cases in the country recorded a decrease of 44.2 percent throughout last year, from 516 cases to 288 cases compared to the same period in 2019.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said although it was still under control, the Ministry of Health (MoH) through the Food Safety and Quality Division took the issue seriously as food safety and hygiene should not be taken lightly.

In a media statement in conjunction with the World Food Safety Day celebrated today (June 6) with the slogan Keselamatan Makanan, Tanggunjawab Bersama, he said although the country is being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, MoH still ensures that monitoring activities and enforcement actions are always carried out.

He added that last year, a total of 66,210 food premises nationwide were inspected and 90.1 percent of them were found clean, while 1,534 (2.32 percent) had been ordered to close under Section 11 of the Food Act 1983, due to lack of hygiene.

In addition, a total of 19,789 notices were issued to food premises owners who did not comply with the Food Hygiene Regulations 2009, the Food Act 1983, he said.

He also advised the public to always observe food safety by choosing to buy food from premises that are clean, and practise the concept of ‘see, smell and taste’ to avoid eating contaminated food.

Dr Noor Hisham expressed the MoH’s commitment to enhance the country’s food security control to ensure that Malaysians continue to enjoy safe food in the food chain by encouraging the involvement of all parties. – Bernama