Tips for keeping S'pore clean during CNY

SINGAPORE - The National Environment Agency (NEA) urges Singaporeans to keep Singapore clean and healthy as we usher in the Lunar New Year.

In its media release, the NEA recommends 3 tips during the festive season:

1. Spring-clean your home, and don't clutter your neighborhood. Call the Town Council for bulky item removals. Bin your litter properly and if a bin is overflowing, look for another one.

2. Enjoy the feast but avoid a tummy ache. Do not purchase food from illegal hawkers. Maintain good food hygiene practices at home  and consume food from caterers within the "consume by" time.

3. Enjoy yourself but don't forget to check common breeding places. Practice the "10-minute 5-step Mozzie Wipe-out" like changing water in vases and bowls on alternate days and covering bamboo pole holders and other water-bearing vessels when not in use. Take extra care to ensure that vases and plant bowls for floral decorations do not breed mosquitoes.

Anti-littering enforcement

As large crowds are expected at events such as the River Hongbao 2013, CNY Tradefair @ Chinatown and the Chingay Parade 2013, NEA has reminded event organisers to provide sufficient bins at event sites and ensure waste is cleared regularly.

NEA will also be conducting anti-littering enforcement and checks on the stalls that have been licensed to sell food at these sites. Unlicensed hawkers are forewarned that NEA will be taking firm action against such activity and that they may face fines of up to $4,000 and seizure of their goods if they are caught. Anyone caught littering can be fined $300.

Enhancing surveillance of food establishments

Operators are reminded to ensure that none of their food handlers are unwell and that all food handlers thoroughly wash their hands, especially after handling raw food. Operators are also reminded on the good practices to follow during preparation of Yu Sheng (raw fish salad) such as using separate chopping boards and knives for cutting raw fish and vegetables.

NEA has stepped up inspections of caterers and restaurants during this Lunar New Year period, with particular focus on poor hygiene practices that could lead to cross contamination between raw and ready-to-eat foods. Food handlers’ personal hygiene practices will also be checked.

Increasing vigilance in dengue prevention

As the number of dengue cases observed has increased in January, extra care by residents is needed to ensure that their vases and plant bowls for the lunar new year decorations do not breed mosquitoes.

NEA has found from its analysis of data from 2007 to 2012 that the average weekly Aedes breedings found in ornamental containers in January and February, where the Lunar New Year usually falls in, is more than 2.5 times that of the remaining months of the year. In January and February, on average, we found about 37 breedings per week in ornamental containers out of 10,000 inspections conducted compared with about 10 in 10,000 inspections for the remaining months.

NEA will work with grassroots organisations to step up community outreach dengue prevention efforts, especially in the areas of Telok Kurau and Beach Road/Bussorah St, where the dengue virus has been circulating.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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