In response to a parliamentary question posed by Mr. Melvin Yong Yik Chye, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Grace Fu, provided detailed insights via a written reply on 10 January into the measures taken by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to ensure the cleanliness of public toilets in coffee shops.
Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on public toilet cleanliness by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the National Environment Agency (NEA) imposes a minimum standard of cleanliness for public toilets at coffee shops; and (b) if not, whether NEA will consider issuing a guideline or standard to ensure the cleanliness of all public toilets.
1 Under Regulation 30(2) of the Environmental Public Health (Food Hygiene) Regulations, every licensee of a food establishment, including coffeeshops, must ensure that the toilets in its premises are kept clean and properly maintained. The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) inspects such public toilets to ensure that licensees adhere to the regulations and implement measures to upkeep good public hygiene. Enforcement actions will be taken by SFA if lapses are detected.
2 Under the Environmental Sanitation (ES) Regime, coffeeshops are required to develop and implement upstream measures to achieve stipulated cleanliness outcomes at their premises, including their toilets. Premises Managers of coffeeshops have to adopt mandatory baseline cleaning standards such as minimum daily cleaning and disinfection frequency, as well as thorough cleaning and disinfection at least once every quarter.
3 In addition, the National Environment Agency (NEA) published an advisory in March 2023 to remind public toilet owners to keep toilets clean by having a proper schedule for cleaning and maintenance. Premises Managers of coffeeshops are recommended to adopt similar toilet cleaning frequencies as indicated for hawker centres in the advisory, which is to clean their toilets once every one to two hours during non-peak period, and every half-hour during peak period. The advisory also details the cleaning method, equipment, and cleaning agents to be used for different surfaces.