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Food Import & Export
Food Testing Services
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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Food Import & Export
Import & Transshipment Of Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
Import, Export & Transshipment Of Fish
Import, Export & Transshipment Of Irradiated Food
Import, Export & Transshipment Of Meat
Import, Export & Transshipment Of Processed Food:
Export Certification for Processed Food
Export Health Certification for Meat, Fish and Dairy Products (Intended for Human Consumption)
Registration to Import Processed Food Products and Food Appliances
Licensing of Food Processing Establishments
Food Additives and ingredients
Food Labelling & Advertisement
Containers for Food
Testing of Food and Food Products
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Top 5 Most Popular FAQs
Do I require a licence to manufacture food for distribution? If yes, can I do it in a residential house?
Yes, under the Sale of Food Act, a licence to operate a food processing establishment is required from SFA, for the manufacturing, processing, preparation or packing of foods (excluding meat or fish processing) for the purpose of distribution to wholesalers and retailers.
The premises used for manufacturing, processing, preparation or packing of food for the purpose of distribution must be carried out in a properly designed and constructed food processing establishment equipped with all the necessary facilities.
Use of residential house as a food processing establishment for manufacturing of food for distribution is not allowed.
How do I apply for a food processing establishment licence?
You may apply for a Licence to operate a food processing establishment (excluding meat and fish) via
How soon can a licence be issued to me to operate a food processing establishment?
It all depends on how soon you can comply with the health requirements, specific to your food establishment, which will be issued to you for compliance during the licensing stage.
Please be reminded that no food processing operation is allowed until approval of the licence is granted.
Why does SFA take such a strict stance against street hawkers who are just trying to make a living? They are clearly in need, so shouldn't the government provide them some assistance?
Unregulated street hawking poses a risk to public health and pollutes the environment. For this reason, street hawkers were relocated into purpose-built hawker centres with proper facilities in the 1980s. All hawkers and their assistants involved in the sale of food have to undergo training in the safe handling and preparation of food. In order to protect public health and safety, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) takes action against illegal hawkers who circumvent our regulations.
In 2017, the majority of the feedback received was on the illegal hawking of food items, which include fruits, otah-otah, and curry puffs. During the same period, enforcement action was taken against about 340 illegal hawkers for selling food items or goods such as household products, clothes and mobile phone accessories. However, the best deterrence against illegal hawkers is for members of the public not to purchase any items, regardless of whether they are food or non-food, from them. Food sold may be unsafe and products may be of inferior quality. Such vendors come and go, and cannot be found if buyers have problems with their purchase. Through choosing such modes of sales, these illegal street hawkers are in effect passing the risks to the unsuspecting consumer to bear.
A very small number of Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, subject to meeting the stringent eligibility criteria, have been given street hawking licences under the Street Hawking Scheme. They sell specific approved items, such as newspapers and phone cards; and are required to display their licences when conducting their businesses. They are also required to peddle their wares at fixed locations in public places, with the support of Town Councils, which decide on the designated locations in order to ensure that street hawking activities do not adversely affect residents, businesses and other stakeholders in the vicinity.
Street hawking may not always be the best solution for someone trying to make a living. In the long run, street hawkers are encouraged to adopt more sustainable options such as picking up new skills through the various government-funded training programmes and seeking employment, or operating from a proper stall in a hawker centre or other retail premises to secure a more stable repeat clientele. Any Singaporean who wishes to embark on hawking may rent a hawker stall from monthly tender exercises carried out by SFA.
Local illegal hawkers in financial difficulties are referred to social service agencies. They can also approach Workforce Singapore (WSG) Career Centres located island-wide for career and training advice and services to enhance their job search skills and employability. SFA also provides assistance with the stall application process if they wish to bid for a hawker stall.
SFA will continue to take firm and decisive action against any person who engages in any illegal hawking activity. We advise members of the public to report on illegal hawkers by writing to us via https://www.sfa.gov.sg/feedback. Those found illegal hawking may have their goods seized and be fined $300, $400 and $500 for the first, second and third offences respectively. Upon the fourth and subsequent offences, they will be prosecuted in Court.
Do food poisoning incidents mean that SFA's good hygiene regulations are insufficient?
SFA adopts a multi-pronged approach to ensure good food hygiene standards in Singapore - education, surveillance and enforcement. Food handlers working in food retail establishments need to be registered with SFA and pass the mandatory Basic Food Hygiene Course (BFHC), so that food handlers are equipped with knowledge on good hygiene practices. Food handlers are responsible for the application of what they have learnt from the BFHC and the practice of good personal and food hygiene at all times. SFA also will continue to inspect food retail outlets regularly and strict enforcement action will be taken against any errant food retail outlets.
SFA has in place a Points Demerit System (PDS), which is a systematic and fair approach in dealing with the suspension or revocation of licences. If a licensee accumulates 12 demerit points or more within 12 months, his licence will either be suspended for two weeks or four weeks, or be revoked, depending on past suspension records. SFA publishes suspension notices on our website to inform the public.
Licensed food operators have the responsibility to ensure that food sold at retail outlets is prepared hygienically and safe for consumption. Food operators and their food handlers should observe good food and personal hygiene practices at all times. Food operators are also to ensure that all food handlers are registered with SFA and that they do not engage in any food preparation if they are sick. Food retail outlets are inspected regularly and strict enforcement action is taken against any errant food retail outlets.
In 2017, NEA conducted more than 88,000 inspections on food premises and took more than 3,100 enforcement actions against errant food operators who flouted hygiene regulations.
During these inspections, our officers also educate and remind licensees and food handlers on proper food and personal hygiene practices. Licensees who are convicted for hygiene lapses may be liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000 and may have their licences suspended or revoked. We encourage members of the public to support food outlets which observe good hygiene practices, and report those with potential hygiene lapses that merit investigation to SFA via https://www.sfa.gov.sg/feedback.
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