New alcohol drinks regulations from Oct 16

Jefri (left) and Environmental Health Officer of Domestic Enforcement Unit for Food Safety and Quality Division Sarawak Ahmad Zaidi Ujang pose in front of a sign at the supermarket, where alcoholic drinks were confiscated yesterday.

KUCHING:  Consumers under the age of 21 can no longer purchase alcoholic drinks beginning Oct 16 with amendments to the Food Regulations 1985 coming into force.

The amendment of Regulation 361 under the Food Regulations 1985 is related to the general standard for existing alcoholic drinks and establishes a new regulation 386A on Compounded Hard Liquor (CHL).

Under the amendment, all alcoholic drinks can only be sold to consumers aged 21 years and above and a notice ‘Drinking Alcohol Endangers Health’ must be displayed in front.

Besides, all alcoholic drinks must be displayed on different cabinets with the same notice labelled.

Failure to adhere to the Regulation 361 and 386(A) regarding Compounded Hard Liquor (CHL) will constitute an offence with a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or jail time not exceeding two years.

The amendment of the Regulation is in line with the ‘Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol’ endorsed by all Health Ministers during the 63rd World Health Assembly held in 2010.

According to a statement by Sarawak Health Department director Dr Jamilah Hashim,  a total of 879 premises have been inspected by the department up to Oct 17 and more than RM7,000 worth of alcoholic products had been confiscated.

“All CHL products must also be sold in glass bottle with a minimum volume of 700ml under the new Regulation 386A,” said deputy health director of the Food Safety and Health Division Mohammad Jefri Crossley during an inspection on a supermarket at Jalan Setia Raja here yesterday. The operation also involved personnel from the Kuching Division Health Office.

A total of RM587 worth of alcoholic drinks were confiscated from the supermarket and two notices issued to the business owner for failing to comply with the regulations.

For complaints on food safety, the public can contact Sarawak Health Department or the nearest District Health Department, or visit http://moh.spab.gov.my,  or visit Food Safety and Quality Division Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bkkmhq.

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