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Friday, Mar 05, 2021

Two ways for Hong Kong to expand food safety checks

Two ways for Hong Kong to expand food safety checks

Hong Kong fourth wave: time to expand food safety checks and push QR code use
The coronavirus pandemic has heightened public expectations of food safety. This can no longer be met by merely ensuring restaurant cleanliness and food product safety. The Hong Kong government has to do more.

The current approach to food safety focuses primarily on two areas. First, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department maintains checks on restaurant hygiene. Second, the Centre for Food Safety monitors whether the food products contain prohibited or undisclosed substances or ingredients.

To ease public concerns, attention should be paid to two additional areas.

First, the health of customers and employees, which is pivotal to food safety. Cases of infections among the customers and employees of several restaurants resulted in the issuing of compulsory testing notices. Public confidence can be reinstated by expanding the QR code scanning requirement via the “Leave Home Safe” app to include restaurant visits.

Second, the scope of monitoring for food products safety should be broadened. Living samples of viruses have been found on food packaging. Furthermore, there remains some confusion over whether diseases can be spread through packaging. These unsettling issues necessitate the issuing of further and constantly updated guidance – targeted at both households and the industry – on maintaining the hygiene of packaging.

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