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Self-service buffets to resume from April 30; outlets to provide sanitiser, disposable gloves for patrons

SINGAPORE — Food-and-beverage (F&B) establishments will be allowed to resume self-service buffets from Saturday (April 30), but with a new licensing condition of providing hand sanitiser or disposable gloves for customers. 

SINGAPORE — Food-and-beverage (F&B) establishments will be allowed to resume self-service buffets from Saturday (April 30), but with a new licensing condition of providing hand sanitiser or disposable gloves for customers. 

F&B establishments providing buffets must place at least two bottles of hand sanitisers that have at least 60 per cent of alcohol or two packs of disposable gloves in the vicinity of a self-service buffet, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in a press release on Friday.

All starting points of the buffet line must have these. For example, one bottle of hand sanitiser or one pack of disposable gloves could be placed at each end of the buffet line and replenished when depleted. 

These rules will also apply for self-service buffets held at an external venue. 

SFA acknowledged that proper hand-washing with soap and water is the most effective way to remove harmful bacteria, but noted that “it may not always be possible for patrons of self-service buffets to wash their hands before every handling of serving cutlery”. 

“As such, hand sanitisers or disposable gloves can be used to reduce potential contamination of the serving cutlery.”

SFA explained that the hand sanitisers must contain at least 60 per cent alcohol because these are known to be more effective against micro-organisms.

“This is line with recommendations made by international bodies such as the World Health Organization and United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.” 

The agency also reminded F&B outlets to adopt other good practices such as frequent cleaning and replacing of serving cutlery, as well as using plastic or glass barriers to protect food from exposure to environmental contamination. 

Self-service buffets have been banned since 2020 when the coronavirus outbreak forced businesses to shut after Singapore went into a partial lockdown that year. Some of these eateries had to relook their service approach to cater ala carte food instead when they could reopen.

Related topics

buffet Covid-19 F&B dining hand sanitisers disposable gloves hygiene SFA

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