Monday, August 07, 2006

Where to eat in Sarawak

KUCHING: Here is some thought for food when you are visiting Sarawak.

Eat only at places graded ‘A’.

Stay away from a restaurant or eating spot that is graded ‘D’ as it has not likely met the stringent conditions for cleanliness and hygiene that the state government has stipulated.

“There have been a lot of complaints about the cleanliness of food outlets.

“Even in coffee shops where the eating area is clean, the toilets and kitchens may be dirty,” said state Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk Michael Manyin.

“As such, all local authorities in Sarawak have agreed to have a common grading system. This was introduced in March,” he told reporters after launching the India Street cleanliness and beautification campaign here on Monday.

Under the system, coffee shops, restaurants and other food outlets are graded from 'A' to 'D', to denote how clean they are.

The grades are given after taking into account points for cleanliness of toilets (30%), food preparation area (30%), eating area (20%), personal hygiene (10%) and miscellaneous requirements (10%).

An 'A' grade denotes excellent standards of cleanliness, 'B' (good), 'C' (fair) and 'D' (unsatisfactory).

“The grades will be prominently displayed in the food outlets and the local authorities will closely monitor those receiving 'B', 'C' and 'D' grades to make sure they improve.

“If those in grade 'D' have not improved satisfactorily by the time their licence expires, it will not be renewed,” said Manyin, adding that the system aimed to get everyone – from enforcement officers to shop owners and customes – to maintain cleanliness at the eating places.
“The customers will be the final judges of cleanliness. Don’t go to coffee shops that have a 'C' or 'D' grading; this will spur these eating places to improve.”

Kuching North City Hall director Onn Abdullah said the cleanliness and beautification campaign was also in preparations for the upcoming National Day celebration in the city.

He said City Hall would work with the business community in the area to clean and repaint buildings as well as put up new streetlights.

“We hope the city folks will cooperate with us and take the initiative to beautify their premises and not to throw litter about as this would give Kuching a bad image,” he added.

Source: The Star

ED NOTE: The cleanliness grade rating applies to all eateries in Sabah as well.

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