Serving of Raw Fish Banned At All Food Stalls

Raw freshwater fish cannot be served by all food outlets, following an immediate by the National Environment Agency (NEA) yesterday (5 Dec). 

All food establishments that wish to sell ready-to-eat (RTE) raw fish dishes are to use only saltwater fish intended for raw consumption from now on.

As an added precaution, food stalls – including hawker centres, coffee shops, canteens and foodcourts, as well as caterers are required to stop the sale of all RTE raw fish dishes using saltwater fish until they comply with the practices required for such dishes. 

However, restaurants can continue to sell raw saltwater fish like salmon, tuna and swordfish, but will be subjected to NEA checks. Most restaurants  generally observe proper cold chain and food handling management in their food preparation and use only saltwater fish typically sourced from suppliers of fish intended for raw consumption. 

There have been 360 cases of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infections this year, with two deaths reported to the Ministry of Health. About 50 cases were linked to the consumption of raw freshwater fish – toman (snakehead) and song (Asian bighead carp) typically eaten with porridge – and involved an aggressive strain known as Type III GBS Sequence Type 283 (ST283).

Over the next few weeks, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and NEA will conduct engagement sessions to help suppliers and establishments understand the requirements of serving raw fish intended for consumption. 

What are your views on the ban? Share your thoughts with us here. 

Source: “NEA bans serving of raw freshwater fish at all eateries” (Straits Times, 6 December 2015) and “NEA ban on raw freshwater fish 'won't affect restaurants'” (Straits Times, 6 December 2015)


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