Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - City pushes for hygienic food

City pushes for hygienic food

City pushes for hygienic food

AS part of a push to raise sanitation standards in the capital’s restaurants, the Phnom Penh Municipal Health Department plans to issue certification logos this month for display in establishments that meet cleanliness requirements.

Phnom Penh Health Department director Sok Sokun said that of the 634 registered restaurants in Phnom Penh, just 97 had put their employees through training sessions about hygienic food preparation. For the moment, he said, the city is focusing on educating restaurateurs on the issue rather than resorting to punitive measures.

“We do not have a law to fine restaurants that fail to meet sanitation standards yet, but we have urged them to be mindful of the issue to ensure safety for tourists and other eaters by providing them with virus-, toxin- and chemical-free food,” Sok Sokun said.

A certification logo will be awarded by the health department to all restaurants that pass examinations, Sok Sokun added. This logo – a circular display showing a voluptuous woman carrying a plate of food – is meant to be displayed in storefronts in order to alert potential patrons to a restaurant’s level of sanitation, and will be awarded to perhaps half a dozen restaurants after inspections this month.

Cambodian Restaurants Association President Van Porleng said she welcomed the introduction of the logo system, which she said she hoped would build trust among customers of qualifying establishments. She warned, however, that the displays will be meaningless if local authorities do not complete comprehensive inspections.

“The logo will be useless if eaters don’t understand its meaning, and especially if there are not strict examinations of sanitation standards at every restaurant,” she said.

Ho Vandy, co-chairman of the tourism working group of the Government-Private Sector Forum, said appealing to tourists was one motivating factor for the Health Ministry to institute higher sanitation standards in the culinary community, which he said would benefit both domestic and international visitors. Whether you’re a sophisticated gourmand or a member or the pork-and-rice set, the benefits of the new logo system are manifold, Ho Vandy said.

“For one thing, the logo is issued to build trust among customers. Second, it makes it easy for tourists to find out whether a restaurant is clean or not, and third, it will improve healthcare and environmental protection,” he said.

Your say: A taste of sanitation reforms

“I am very happy that the health department will give the logos to restaurants that have hygienic food, and will urge restaurant owners to cook in a sanitary way. Some restaurants and food stores are so dirty that they don’t even clean the dishes.” - Leng Sohei, 31, businessman
“Every weekend, my family likes to go out to eat at restaurants. In some restaurants, the area for customers is so clean, but the kitchen is very dirty. When I see that logo in front of a restaurant, that will be my first choice for eating.” - Oeun Danath, 19, student
“Whenever I leave my school, I always stop to eat something in a small restaurant near my school. I notice that when this restaurant has a lot of customers eating at the same time, the waiters and owner seem like they’re not too careful with the food.” - Chan Vireak, 15, student

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman