Seafood restaurants and wet markets will always face the risk of cholera contamination unless the government helps ensure a clean seawater supply, says the catering sector representative in Legco. 'If the government genuinely wants to help revitalise the economy, if it is to safeguard public health and restore people's confidence in seafood, it has to curb contamination at the source and shoulder the financial burden,' said Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, of the Liberal Party. Speaking on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong programme yesterday, Mr Cheung said the food industry had been left alone in fighting the problem of contamination. 'For years, the government thinks it has done its job by prosecuting the licensees of [cholera-contaminated] restaurants or fish stalls. It did not seek to investigate why and how the water in the fish tanks was contaminated and how this could be avoided in future.' Mr Cheung said one possible source of contamination was the seawater supply. However, he noted that the business of purifying seawater was not lucrative enough to attract investors. He said the recent cholera-bacteria contamination at a branch of ParknShop showed that even well-managed enterprises sometimes failed to keep E. coli bacteria from their fish tanks. 'Individual restaurant operators would be more vulnerable as they cannot afford to track the seawater before the fish are delivered to the restaurants,' he said. Mr Cheung suggested that the government grant land to enable the food industry to build tanks for purifying and storing seawater. By allowing the private sector to run these facilities, restaurants and markets would be guaranteed a clean and safe water supply to keep their seafood fresh, he said.