Sim Sim Food Market is cleaner after the state health department ordered vendors to adhere to proper food-handling procedures. PIC BY AWANG ALI OMAR

PATRONS of Sim Sim Food Market in Sandakan, Sabah, want to see food vendors adhere to strict hygiene practices.

Lim Vui Min, 54, who has been eating at the market regularly, is worried that he would suffer from food poisoning or contract other diseases from eating there.

“There have been cases of people admitted to hospital after having meals at the market. Vendors should ensure that the food they serve follow strict hygiene practices. We need stricter enforcement to ensure the wellbeing of the people.”

Khatijah Syawal, 26, said action should be taken against those who did not follow regulations.

She said the market was popular for its grilled fish and was frequented by tourists.

“Locals exercise caution when they eat there because they are aware of the way food is handled. If outsiders get sick from having meals there, it will affect the tourism industry in the district.”

ACTIONLINE : Sandakan district health officer Dr Johari Awang Besar said the Health Department had made inspections and instructed the area to be closed since April 4.

The department has also taken food samples to identify any source of food contamination and poisoning.

Gotong-royong cleanups and disinfection spraying have also been conducted at the premises. The market re-opened on May 3 after vendors had fulfilled the hygiene requirements in food preparation, said Johari.

The local authority will also close the market once a week to allow regular cleaning to take place.

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