I would like to compliment Singapore for a great first impression as soon as I stepped off the plane for a holiday here.
The Customs experience was a pleasant one and I liked the beautifully landscaped airport exit route and the overall cleanliness of the city.
The tourist places I visited were well taken care of, especially Gardens by the Bay.
However, I had just travelled to a developing country, and the sanitation there was no different from the hawker centres I visited in Singapore.
I stayed at a hotel in Katong. The food in the area was excellent but I was disappointed when I saw how plates, bowls and utensils were cleaned in large bins just outside the vendor stalls. I was appalled when I saw an employee, who was washing dirty bowls, deliver a plate to a customer without washing his hands and arms first.
I am not sure how that stall got a B grade for its food establishment licence. It seemed to me that all the stalls had the same grade even though they used different practices.
One recommendation would be to look into the sterilisation of utensils and dishes. I live in South Korea and different types of sterilisers are used there. Food vendors sterilise cups, plates, bowls, utensils, chopping boards and knives and even provide hand sterilisers for customers.
I also see book sterilisers in libraries and toy sterilisers in schools. I have been told that day-care centres use toothbrush sterilisers to reduce the spread of diseases among children.
Such sterilisers would definitely improve the health quality of all Singapore citizens and may give tourists like me a better sense of security when it comes to cleanliness.
Moving towards a more sanitary environment will increase Singapore's appeal. It will also help everyone in Singapore live healthier lives.
This article was first published on June 18, 2014.
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