Updated: 01/14/2014 21:11

NEA explains archaic rules for hawker stalls

NEA explains archaic rules for hawker stalls

The National Environment Agency, NEA, has explained a licensing condition which prevents hawkers from sell 'restaurant-type' dishes, a day after Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishan announced its removal on Facebook. 

Dr Balakrishnan made the announcement after Mr Daniel Goh, owner of a well-known craft beer stall at Chinatown Complex posted the rule on Facebook, calling it "stupid" and "onerous". 

NEA says the "restaurant-type" dishes stated in licensing conditions for cooked food stalls refer to "zhi char" dishes. 

It says the licence condition highlighted by Mr Goh was put in place in the past as a general requirement, "in consideration of the nature of 'zhi char' stalls that involve heavy cooking". 

It said these stalls require adequate cooker hoods and flues to extract the smoke and fumes from the cooking areas. 

They also require sufficient space for food preparation and storage, and higher electrical power for larger refrigerators to store the various ingredients typically used in "zhi char" dishes. 

The agency said that since most of its upgraded hawker centres are now outfitted with exhaust systems and higher capacity electrical power, it will be updating the licence conditions.

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