Although masks will be optional in most public places from Aug. 29, save for public transport and healthcare areas, hawkers working in hawker centres and other food handlers will still be required to wear masks.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) clarified this on Aug. 24, following a Multi-Ministry Taskforce press conference on the same day, which gave an update on the easing of mask restrictions.
A press release stated:
"Existing sector requirements on mask wearing continue to apply. Since Apr 2020, Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has made it a requirement for all food handlers to wear masks or other forms of physical barrier.
Thus, all food handlers will still be required to wear over his nose and mouth a mask or spit guard** that is capable of preventing any substance expelled from his mouth or nose from contaminating food."
SFA added that face shields are not considered suitable for use for food handlers as they have a large gap at the bottom, whereas masks and spit guards cover up the mouth and nose.
This rule applies to all personnel engaged in the sale and preparation of food and drinks at all retail food establishments, including:
- Hawker centres
- Coffee shops
- Trade fairs
- Non-retail food establishments, including food processing establishments and slaughterhouses
"Food safety is a joint responsibility. The food industry is reminded to comply with licensing conditions by continuing to wear masks or spit guards for adequate protection to prevent contamination of food.
SFA will not hesitate to take firm action against anyone who does not comply with the mask or spit guard-wearing requirement."
Top image by Rach Teo via Unsplash.