Packed meals, catered food must be time-stamped: NEA

Packed meals, catered food must be time-stamped: NEA

SINGAPORE - Caterers will be required to time-stamp buffet food and pre-packed meals, to ensure they are safe for consumption, the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced today.

As part of the new stipulations which start on Feb 15, all cooked food kept at temperatures between 5°C and 60°C can only have a 'shelf-life' of four hours.

"Bacteria may multiply rapidly and produce sufficient toxins to cause food poisoning when food is stored between 5°C and 60°C," NEA said.

The introduction of this mandatory time-stamp is a safety measure aimed at keeping consumers better informed so that they can avoid consuming food that may no longer be fresh.

Event organisers should also use the time-stamp to better plan the provision and serving of catered meals to participants.

To help caterers, NEA has a provided a set of educational materials and samples on its website.

NEA said it will take action against those who do not time-stamp their food, or who falsify or provide misleading information.

adrianl@sph.com.sg

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