There are over 14,000 hawker stalls and food stalls, serving a huge variety of food choices in Singapore.
NEA regulates the food retail industry in Singapore to ensure that food sold at retail outlets and food stalls is prepared hygienically and safe for consumption.
Food hygiene standards were put in place since 1960s when an island-wide registration of street hawkers was carried out. Since then, food sellers had to comply with stringent food hygiene requirements.
Before that, some 24,000 hawkers had been selling food on the streets. This created problems, including poor hygiene.
Without proper equipment and water supply, street hawkers did not keep their utensils clean and protect their food from contamination. Food and liquid wastes also polluted streets, posing threats to public health.
Since 1997, all eating establishments and food stalls are graded annually, based on criteria like housekeeping, cleanliness, pest infestation, food hygiene and personal hygiene of food handlers.
Demerit points are given for each public health offence that is convicted in court or compounded. If a licensee accumulates 12 demerit points or more within 12 months, his licence will either be suspended for 2 weeks or 4 weeks, or be revoked, depending on past suspension records.
All food handlers are required by law to attend and pass a Food Hygiene Course before they are allowed to work. They must also attend and pass a Refresher Food Hygiene Course every 3 years
Preventing transmission of vector-borne diseases and keeping our public areas clean.