BeSS or “CLEAN, SAFE, AND HEALTHY” is a recognition that will be granted to operators of food premises who meet the four criteria which include their ability to maintain the cleanliness of food premises, to provide healthy food and food that are safe to be consumed as well as to provide food in proper serving sizes according to individual needs. These four criteria are actually branched from two main components specified in the BeSS Recognition Guidelines which are food safety and healthy eating. In addition, BeSS Recognition program is viewed as an enhancement to current monitoring programs that has been implemented by Ministry of Health (MOH).
On the other hand, Food Act 1983 is an Act that has been legislated by parliament to regulate the food safety in Malaysia. Under this Act, food on sale must conform to laws laid down in the Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985 which falls under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Health (MOH). The scopes of the Act are the subject matter must be “food” as defined under Section 2 of Food Act 1983 and it must be in the course of a business by having food businesses and food premises. More crucially perhaps, is the purpose of Food Act 1983 in ensuring that the food sold to the public is safe to be consumed and protects the public against hazards and fraud in the preparation, sale and use of food. Meanwhile, Food Regulations (Amendment) 2009 that consist of 10 components including warranty, labelling, food packaging, procedures of acquiring samples, and miscellaneous etc. is adopted to strengthen the provision of Food Act 1983.
1. To implement the current food safety policy, Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations (Amendment) 2009 to a real life situation.
2. To propagate the necessity of BeSS recognition guidelines to be adopted by the food premises operators.
3. To access the benefits and risks that food premises operators have to face upon the acquisition of BeSS recognition.
REVIEW OF FOOD SAFETY AND COMPARISON TO CURRENT LEGISLATION
Our current food safety policy shows that there are several concerns that we need to deal with in order to improve food safety and quality. First and foremost, we need to look at the food premises that used for or in connection with the preparation, preservation, packaging, storage, conveyance, distribution or sale of any food. According to BeSS (Bersih, Selamat, Sihat) that emphasizes on clean, safe and healthy, food premises must have good structure, stay clean from time to time by realizing the importance to well-maintained the sanitary conditions of kitchen and toilet if any. In fact, BeSS practice is in line with the need for Food Hygiene Regulations 2009 to be fully enforced in January 2014. Food premises can be categorized into restaurant, cafeteria, food hawkers, canteen, catering and so on.
From the other point of view which is based on current legislation; Food Act 1983, premises must meet sanitary and hygienic requirements as specified...