Citing food safety, Penang city council gives market poultry sellers till March 31 to install chillers
Yew said any raw poultry exposed to Malaysia’s hot and humid weather increased health risks due to bacterial contamination. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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GEORGE TOWN, Feb 26 — Penang poultry sellers at wet markets have until March 31 to install chillers at their stalls, the state’s Island City Council (MBPP) Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said today.

He said the chillers were to ensure the freshness of the poultry sold at market stalls as any raw poultry exposed to Malaysia’s hot and humid weather for more than two hours increased health risks due to bacterial contamination.

“As an added encouragement and incentive to sellers to install chillers at their stalls before April 1, MBPP will give subsidies in the form of stall rental or license fee rebates of up to RM1,000,” he said.

Yew said so far, 114 poultry sellers on the island have agreed to install chillers.

“We can say that a majority of the poultry sellers, about 64.4 per cent, have agreed to install the chillers,” he said.

He added that MBPP can help provide installation assistance to other traders who have yet to do so if they need it.

As for the poultry distribution centre in Batu Lanchang, Yew said the centre is physically completed and it can start operations in March.

He stressed that poultry sellers on the island can obtain their supply from any other poultry suppliers in the state and they are not compelled to take supply from the poultry distribution centre.

“The poultry distribution centre is only an alternative for the sellers to get their supply,” he said.

As for concerns on the halal status of the poultry from the distribution centre, he said MBPP had met with the Gabungan Peniaga-peniaga Ayam Pulau Pinang representatives together with officers from Penang Islamic Affairs Department to clarify that the poultry from the centre is halal certified.

Additionally, he said there are 12 halal-certified poultry suppliers on the island so the sellers can also obtain their supplies from any of these suppliers.