Dr Jamilah (seated centre) with recipients of GMP and MeSTI certificates. Deputy health director Mohammad Jefri Crossley is seated second left. — Photo by Jeffery Mostapa
KUCHING: The kitchens of five hospitals in the state namely Sarawak General Hospital (SGH), Sibu Hospital, Kapit Hospital, Sarikei Hospital and Miri Hospital have received the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification.
The GMP certification is a pre-requisite programme for food safety management covering the practices, procedures and environment necessary to produce safe and healthy food products. It is the basis to Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programme, the highest level of certification.
The certificates were presented by state health director Dr Jamilah Hashim at the state Health Department premises here yesterday.
The HACCP programme was introduced by the Health Ministry in 2006 for implementation in all government hospitals.
“When patients are sick, their immune system is weak. So we must ensure that the food served to them must be of good quality, safe and fulfill the requirements that will help them recuperate.
“The ministry targets 100 per cent implementation of HACCP in all hospital kitchens by 2020,” Dr Jamilah said.
On hospitals that did not get the certifications, she said it was not because their food preparation was not safe.
“It is either they have not made the attempt to go for the certifications or they are in the process of getting certified.
“Once the hospitals are ready with all the requirements, we will call in the auditor. Once submitted, the certification will be done within three to four months,” she said.
Dr Jamilah said that SGH was now in the process of getting HACCP, the first for kitchen hospitals in the state.
“SGH has been audited and is in the final stages of corrective action request. We are targeting to get the HACCP in 2017.
“Five hospitals are in the process of getting GMP certification – Sri Aman Hospital, Serian Hospital, Sarawak Heart Centre, Bintulu Hospital and Mukah Hospital.
“GMP and HACCP certifications are still low in Sarawak, with only 23.8 per cent having GMP while none has HACCP so far.
“We hope that all hospitals will get the GMP certification and 50 per cent to get HACCP certification by next year,” she said.
The food units of four hospitals namely Kanowit Hospital, Marudi Hospital, Simunjan Hospital and Daro Hospital received the basic Food Safety Standard certificate (MeSTI – Makanan Selamat Tanggungjawab Industri) during the same certificate presentation ceremony.