The National Environment Agency in Singapore is now using quick response codes during its inspections at hawker centers. The NEA’s use of QR code technology is part of a move to speed up the inspection process.
The QR codes each contain details regarding every registered hawker stall. NEA officers only need to scan the codes using their smartphones and they would get automatic access to a hawker stall’s registration information.
A hawker centre is also known as a cooked food center which comes in the form of open-air complexes in countries like Singapore and Hong Kong. The center houses numerous stalls selling a wide variety of cheap food. Hawker centers are usually located near transportation hubs and public housing estates.
The NEA first conducted a five-month trial for QR codes, starting February this year. This trial involved these four markets and hawker centers: Tiong Bahru Market and Hawker Centre, Bukit Timah Market and Hawker Centre, North Bridge Road Hawker Centre, and Serangoon Gardens Market.
The NEA was formed in July 2002 and is the leading public organization that’s responsible for sustaining and improving Singapore’s clean and green environment. It is the NEA that creates, initiates, and heads environment-focused programs by partnering with private and public sectors and with individuals.
Among the NEA’s key programs include pollution control, solid waste management, promoting energy efficiency, radiation protection and nuclear safety, prevention and control of vector-borne diseases, and public hygiene and cleanliness. The management and upgrading of hawker centers is also one of its thrusts. It oversees the licensing, the management, and the regulation of government hawker centers in order to promote and maintain public health standards and good hygiene practices.
According to a hawker stall owner, the NEA’s inspection of one hawker stall would normally take about five minutes. However, with the use QR codes, NEA officers would now take only less than a minute to complete their inspection.
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