SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) will step up enforcement efforts at dirty toilets in coffeeshops and food outlets islandwide.
Currently, NEA inspectors check on the toilets in these places once a month.
This comes as the
Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) released its latest toilet
survey results, which show that toilets in coffeeshops are still the
NEA said operators who chalk up 24 demerit points for poorly maintained toilets will have their food outlet suspended, until hygiene and cleanliness standards of the premises, including toilets, are satisfactory.
Members of the public can also play a role in contributing towards cleaner public toilets.
NEA is inviting the public to send pictures of dirty toilets via its mobile app, myENV.
Action will be taken against operators who fail to keep their toilets clean and provide the basic amenities.
The public can also continue to send pictures to [email protected]
A revised Code of Practice for Environmental Health is expected to come into effect for all new food outlet licensees early 2013 following a consultation with stakeholders from June.
The code stipulates a set of basic toilet design requirements, such as the provision of adequate number of sanitary fittings, basic amenities and ventilation systems, before NEA issues a licence to food outlets.
NEA said it will work with industry representatives including architects, developers and operators to look specifically into design and infrastructure elements that make it easier to keep the toilets clean.
Examples include the mandatory provision of automatic sensor taps and installation of hand-wash basins, soap dispensers and hand-drying facilities at a common location.
NEA is also encouraging more food outlets to join the Happy Toilet Programme which is a voluntary system to help grade toilets and improve the cleanliness standards of toilets.
The number of coffeeshop chain operators achieving certification under the programme has increased from 58 in last November to 103 in February this year.
The RAS submitted its five recommendations to the government this week, which include a mandatory rating scheme for toilets; continued government intervention and enforcement; specialised training of restroom attendants; higher toilet design guidelines; and effective public awareness & engagement.
RAS said eight in 10 survey respondents wanted a mandatory rating system for toilets.
The RAS also recommended stricter toilet design guidelines. 43.6 per cent of the respondents found cubicle space too tight and most preferred toilets with seats over squatting ones.
According to the survey, toilet users said they want modesty boards next to urinals, and a one-stop washing basin where people can wash their hands, dry them, and dispose of their litter all in one place.
They also recommend more specialised training for toilet attendants and more hard-hitting messages to the public to remind them the public awareness campaigns on toilet cleanliness.
The Association also wants to remind the public that toilet and food hygiene are interlinked.
About two-thirds of people said they are fine with dirty toilets in food outlets - as long as they sell good food.