The following is issued on behalf of the Provisional Urban Council:
The Urban Services Department is conducting a round of inspections to all fresh provision shops (FPSs) and Provisional Urban Council (PUC) market poultry stalls to ensure that they are complying with necessary hygiene standards.
A spokesman for the Department said today (Thursday) that the two-day operation would involve some 200 staff in inspecting 215 FPSs and 366 PUC market poultry stalls in Hong Kong and Kowloon.
"The operation is to remind poultry operators to strictly abide by licensing conditions and observe proper hygiene practices."
"Also, all poultry operators are advised to enhance clean-up operations to their premises," he added.
Since early last year, PUC has introduced a set of additional hygiene requirements and conditions in market stall agreements and FPS licences to enhance the hygiene conditions of poultry retail outlets. Amendments to the Food Business (Urban Council) By-law were also gazetted to prohibit the sale of live water birds at PUC market stalls and licensed FPSs and to require dressed poultry carcasses and offal be transported in chilled condition.
During the first two rounds of inspections to FPSs and PUC market poultry stalls at the end of March, USD was satisfied that there were no breaches of the by-law in poultry retail outlets.
However, a total of 68 verbal advice was issued to the operators of poultry retail outlets for failing to fully comply with the additional hygiene requirements and conditions in market stall agreements and FPS licences. Most of them were related to wearing clean protective clothing and cleanliness of premises and crates/cages.
Prosecutions were also taken out against two market stalls, one in Wan Chai for failing to clean poultry cages and the other in Mong Kok for improper handling of poultry carcasses and offal.
Sine last June, USD has increased the frequency of cleansing of PUC markets from twice to three times daily and the cost involved rose from $20.4 million to $45.9 million a year.
To further upgrade the hygiene standards in markets, some 1,300 operators of market stalls selling poultry and other food items attended the 129 talks organised by USD between September last year and March this year.
The spokesman urged members of the public, to patronise only those retail outlets that had adopted the proper measures.
End/Thursday, April 8, 1999