Parliament Q&A

Written reply by Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Food Licences for TCM Shops on 2 October 2017

TOPICS: Cleanliness

Question by Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources what is the justification for requiring Traditional Chinese Medicine shops that sell herbal teas to obtain foodshop licences with effect from 1 October 2017.



The National Environment Agency (NEA) regularly reviews its licensing regime as part of a continual process to improve the hygiene standards of food and drinks sold in Singapore. We recognise that many Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shops have been preparing and selling herbal tea within their premises. Such food preparation activities, if not done hygienically, can pose risks to public health, such as giving rise to food poisoning. We have therefore engaged the Singapore Chinese Druggist Association and TCM shops on the proposal to license premises with on-site preparation of herbal tea and food so as to ensure the hygienic preparation of these products, strengthen food hygiene standards and give consumers greater assurance when purchasing such products. 

2        The details of the enhancements to the food hygiene regime will be released in due course. The implementation date of the enhancements has not been decided and we will continue to engage the industry to ensure that the TCM shops have sufficient lead time to get ready. 

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