Date
26 May 2017
Crowds of domestic helpers are a weekly sight at Victoria Park. Some are said to illegally sell cooked food to others. Photo: YouTube
Crowds of domestic helpers are a weekly sight at Victoria Park. Some are said to illegally sell cooked food to others. Photo: YouTube

Maids hawking food at Victoria Park raise hygiene concerns

The domestic helpers who gather in large numbers at Victoria Park on their day off raise issues of environmental hygiene, Wan Chai District Council vice chairwoman Jennifer Chow Kit-bing said.

Not only do they leave behind piles of rubbish, Chow said, but some engage in illegal hawking of cooked food, Headline Daily reported Friday.

Fellow district councilor Lee Man-lung said prosecution of illegal hawking is difficult, as it is hard to differentiate hawkers from friends sharing food, unless officers can spot cash changing hands.

The reheating of food on the street poses a danger to other road users, Lee said.

He said sidewalk space is also taken up by groups of domestic helpers sitting on the ground, causing inconvenience to other people.

Lee urged the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) to step up law enforcement at the park and the Food and Environment Hygiene Department (FEHD) to crack down on local illegal hawkers near the Tin Hau MTR Station.

A representative of the LCSD said it will conduct joint operations with other government departments in addition to regular patrolling and law enforcement.

The LCSD said it laid eight charges in 2014 and undertook 11 joint operations.

A representative of the FEHD said it received 83 complaints relating to domestic helpers at Victoria Park last year.

The FEHD said it is paying close attention to the issue and will increase patrolling of the park during holidays.

Some observers said the city lacks indoor facilities where domestic workers can spend their days off and have their meals.

They said most domestic workers try their best to leave space for pesdestrians and clean up before they leave.

Sharing their food with friends who reimburse them for it should not be considered illegal hawking, they said.

– Contact us at [email protected]

EL/AC/FL

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe