Between 2013 and 2016, a total of 10,226 food premises nationwide were closed for not complying to hygiene requirements. In 2016 alone, Malaysia had a staggering 17,480 recorded cases of food poisoning. This statistic translates to an average of 48 Malaysians falling victim to food poisoning everyday, or 2 victims every hour. These shocking facts shed light on the poor hygiene practices or lack of management of potentially disease-carrying pests at food establishments in the country. As food demand continues to increase in Malaysia, it is imperative that the topic of food safety be explored on a national level.
In Sarawak, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg recently shared with the Borneo post that Sarawak would move towards digitising agriculture. Attempts to modernise agriculture in Sarawak were in effort to provide more efficient systems of communication which aid in the development of the sector. This would enable Sarawak to achieve its aim on becoming the “food basket” of the region. As Sarawak begins their journey into an age of intense food production, supply chain management will increasingly become a topic of interest. One of the characteristics of good supply chain management comes in the form of improved traceability. Traceability is important as it enables businesses to identify the source of all inputs and minimise business disruptions if and when product recalls are needed. Undoubtedly, in order to maintain high levels of food safety for the benefit of the consumer, traceability and transparency of the supply chain is necessary.
Having identified food safety in supply chains as an area for improvement, the MOH of Sarawak invited Rentokil Initial to share on how data can be used to improve pest management during their Internal Audit Seminar in Kuching, Sarawak. This was the second occasion Rentokil had collaborated with MOH in 2018 and rendered their expertise on pest related issues. The workshop that took place on the 26th of April broached topics that enabled food safety officers to glean invaluable insights on online pest management tools and hygiene practices that should be implemented to create a safer food production and management experience. Aside from that, Rentokil’s experts also touched on the benefits of integrated pest management (IPM) in fulfilling the prerequisites in food audits and shared with the food safety officers regarding Total Pest Awareness which focuses on understanding pest risk areas and pest behaviours in order to prevent infestations.
Rentokil's commitment to increasing food safety standards have also led to several innovations in pest management solutions. Rentokil understands that traceability involved many aspects of the entire supply chain, and collating such information in order to maintain food safety is daunting. As such, Rentokil addressed these needs by creating an innovative online application tool called myRentokil. This tool was designed to be user-friendly and complements Rentokil’s Integrated Pest Management programmes. It enables its users to obtain pest management information and recommendations on-the-go. In short, myRentokil allows better traceability and easy access to all key information needed for supply chain risk management.
As a strong advocate of food safety standards, Rentokil has collaborated with the MOH of various states in several workshops and training sessions for Food safety officers since 2017 and is committed to improving the well-being of consumers in Malaysia by continuing to provide effective pest management strategies and spreading awareness about food safety.
“When it comes to food safety standards, Rentokil has a part to play. We want to raise the level of food safety here in Malaysia, and our partnership with MOH is a good platform to begin with. Protecting People and Enhancing Life is our mission and we are committed to improving the welfare of all consumers, who include the people we care about. You and I are consumers; our friends, family and children are all consumers, and they deserve no less than safe food, free from any or all foodborne diseases” says Carol Lam, Managing Director of Rentokil Initial (M) Sdn Bhd.
1) MOH Report 2017