Singapore food safety authorities have debated this topic for a while. There has been a rise in illegal food hawkers as a result of public complaints. Consumers have suffered from food poisoning as a result of poor hygienic preparation and consumption of food.
So what is stopping the government from simply shutting down the hawker system in Singapore? There needs to be a consideration of socio-economic benefits of hawker food markets. This system is able to offer affordable and tasty street food for everyone in any social class within society. Majority of them are licensed but there are some who operate on the edge of the informal economy and offering their humble treats. But without the strict guidelines to follow like their licensed competitors, it leaves these hawkers vulnerable to bad food hygiene, which may lead to a customer complaint.
The future for hawkers in regards to Singapore food safety
Some people believe that social enterprises and non-government organisations can help “illegal” hawkers. They could provide legal outlets for the workers in the hawker store. By providing micro-financing, the hawker owners could upgrade their kitchens to help them enter the terrain of legal hawking.
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