Singapore

More than a third of coffee shops get ‘clean’ certification

Public Hygiene Council says there is greater urgency for coffee shops to improve cleanliness

Around 400 of the 1,100 coffee shops islandwide have received the SG Clean certification since it was introduced in February, said the Public Hygiene Council (PHC) yesterday.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, there is a greater urgency for coffee shops to improve hygiene and cleanliness standards. These include having a spring- cleaning regime and regularly sanitising frequent touchpoints and food preparation areas.

Major coffee shop operators such as Broadway, S-11 and GHK have stated their commitment to work towards attaining the certification for all their coffee shops.

A study conducted by the Singapore Management University that was released in May found that public toilet hygiene standards have declined significantly in local hawker centres and coffee shops, with toilets in coffee shops being comparatively dirtier.

PHC chairman Edward D'Silva said in a virtual press conference yesterday that toilets in coffee shops are key contributors to the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the coffee shop environment and added that "dirty and wet toilets are fertile breeding grounds for germs and viruses".

To ensure basic standards of hygiene at coffee shops, the PHC recommends that the government fund the upgrade of facilities and accessories to make certain all toilets are regularly cleaned and equipped with a constant supply of soap and toilet paper.

Support and funding should be provided for cleaners to attend training workshops regularly to upskill and be more effective in their cleaning responsibilities.

The PHC is working with the National Environment Agency to provide more training to its operators.

Broadway F&B Management has had 15 of its 26 coffee shop outlets certified with SG Clean and is working to have the rest certified as well.

Mr Goh Hung Kwang, chairman of GHK Holdings, said the operator now has all its 11 coffee shop outlets certified with SG Clean. To ensure that hygiene standards are adhered to, the operator has increased the number of cleaners rostered on each shift from two to three.

Tables are swiftly and thoroughly wiped down after patrons have left and frequent spot checks are conducted to ensure that all toilets are clean.

GHK partnered with the PHC's Keep Viruses At Bay initiative in February where coffee shop operators were engaged to step up cleaning regimes and remind patrons to practise good personal hygiene habits.

Former Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, Dr Lee Bee Wah, who was part of the Keep Viruses at Bay initiative, said it is paramount for "coffee shop operators to continue maintaining high standards of hygiene now that phase two has commenced and more Singaporeans are dining out in small groups".

However, Singaporeans should also do their share by "returning their trays and utensils after meals, binning used tissue and keeping the toilet clean and dry", she said.

Food & Drink