SFA is the new NEA
What is SFA?
On 1 April this year, a new agency was formed to oversee all food-related issues, consolidating the food safety duties of the AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority), NEA (National Environment Agency) and the HSA (Health Sciences Authority). The Singapore Food Agency will be responsible for food safety along the entire food supply chain, from import, local production, manufacturing to retail.
SFA will also serve as the single point of contact for public feedback on food-related issues.
NEA Food Shop Licence is now SFA Food Shop Licence
The requirements to attain the licence remain the same, and if you need to apply for one (it is mandatory in order to operate a food business in Singapore), application is still done via the LicenceOne portal.
The fees for the Food Shop Licence remain the same too at $195.00 per year.
New Food Hygiene Recognition Scheme in 2020
SFA will replace the current grading system for eating establishments and for stalls (graded A, B, C or D) with the FHRS in late 2020. Operators may attain the Bronze, Silver or Gold award based on at least 2, 5 or 10 years respectively of track record without any major hygiene lapse carrying 4 or more points under the Points Demerit System (PDS).
The recognition award may be subsequently downgraded if the premises is implicated in a food poisoning incident or suspended under the Points Demerit System due to multiple hygiene infringements (i.e. Gold to Silver, Silver to Bronze, Bronze to none).
New licensees will display a label indicating ‘Working towards excellent hygiene track record’ which is valid for up to two years before SFA’s assessment. Upon the new Scheme’s implementation in late 2020, the existing grading decals will cease to be valid.
Establishments currently with ‘A’ grade can apply for new award on voluntary basis from 1 April 2019
To phase in the FHRS, food retail establishments which are currently graded ‘A’ are invited to come on board the new Scheme on a voluntary basis, starting from 1 April 2019. Those who are interested may submit their application here. Applicants who meet the criteria will receive the award decal for display, in place of the grading decal.
Cheryl Tay is the editor and content marketer at iCHEF Singapore. She also manages iCHEF Club, a growing community of F&B owners in Singapore – organising events, the blog, an online newsletter and the F&B Entrepreneur Bootcamp, the only regular workshop on opening a new restaurant in the country. In her spare time, she attempts to read every book that’s ever won a literary prize and watches cat videos. Like any proper Singaporean, her love for food runs deep – especially spicy food. Chili is life.