Salted eggs factories leave health inspectors bitter

IPOH, Feb 24 — Two salted egg factories in the Kuala Kurau area near here were shut down by state health authorities yesterday for several health code violations. 

The two factories were closed for 14 days after surprise inspections detected several health risks on their premises, including potential pest infestation and unhygienic conditions. 

The inspections, led by state health executive committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, were carried out by teams from the Perak Health Department, Perak Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Department and Perak Islamic Affairs Department.

At the first factory, near Kuala Kurau town, inspectors discovered several problems, including some of the eggs which had not been washed before preparation. 

The soil used to marinate the eggs — which gives the eggs their salty flavour — had been left exposed, leaving it susceptible to pest infestation. 

Dr Mah said this was worrying as rat droppings had also been found near the sand container. 

“We also found that two out of the 10 workers did not complete the typhoid immunisation process, while some had not gone for the required food handling training programme,” he told a press conference yesterday. 

At the second factory in Tanjung Piandang, inspectors uncovered unsanitary processing methods and found maggots crawling near storage containers. 

“The workers were using cracked eggs to make salted egg yolk, which poses a risk of salmonella contamination,” said Dr Mah. 

“All the factory’s six workers were fully immunised, but none received the necessary training for handling food.”

Last year, the state Health Department inspected 317 of the 890 food production factories compared to 214 inspections in 2015. 

They also ordered the temporary closure of 16 premises and issued 20 compound notices totalling RM33,030 in 2016.

This year, the department has already inspected 67 premises, closing three,  and collecting RM20,850 in compounds.

“When we shut down these premises, we want to see a marked improvement after the stipulated closure period,” Dr Mah said.

“There have been other premises that have managed to radically improve their cleanliness standards after they were closed down. 

“There is no reason why other premises cannot improve in the same way.”

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