The caps and aprons were initiatives by Sim, Oon and Councillor Soon Lip Chee to create awareness of the Penang State Government’s Cleaner, Greener Penang campaign. The hawkers were happy to receive their “new attires” in conjunction with the lunar new year. They promised to don the caps and aprons when cooking to present a neater image to the public.
Sim also announced there has been a marked improvement in the grades of the restaurants and coffee shops in Seberang Perai. MPSP has been grading these premises in terms of cleanliness, ranging from A to D, with D being below par and dirty. Those receiving grade D will have their licences revoked until they can comply with the cleanliness standards. The criteria judged include, cleanliness in food preparation, the health and hygiene of the operators, water and toilet system, drainage, waste disposal, infrastructures, and animal, pest and rodent controls.
In 2009, 2.79% of the total restaurants and coffee shops graded received an “A” but the percentage increased significantly to 18.43% last year. The number of shops receiving grade C and D was also reduced. This showed that more and more restaurants and coffee shops operators are becoming aware of the importance to maintain a high standard of cleanliness in their premises.
This year, Sim said he will proposed to MPSP to extend the grading to foodcourts as these places attract much more customers and it is important that they comply to the cleanliness and health guidelines.