Cockroaches in coffee and soup: Did Singapore food outlets forget the hygiene guidelines?

Cockroach Pixabay

Even though after several food contamination incidents took place in Singapore recently, people are still complaining about poor hygiene that they have faced during and after the Christmas night.

On Tuesday, December 25 a 31-year-old operations manager John Singh ordered a bowl of soup for takeaway from #wtf, a restaurant by the IndoChine group. While taking the food Singh noticed a black thing inside the container and soon he understood that it was a cockroach. Singh instantly ran to wash his mouth and realised that the cockroach was cooked.

As reported, Singh's friends noticed that he was upset and when they asked, he showed the cockroach. A 30-year-old lawyer and Singh's friend Akesh Abhilash said that they went to the IndoChine restaurant and called for the manager, who apologised and gave the refund. But, they logged a report with the health authorities.

The New Paper reported that in Wednesday, December 26 Jeremy Lim, the general manager of IndoChine Group said, "We have since checked with our chef and he has mentioned that there is no way the cockroach would get into the soup as we set quite a high level of food hygiene standard at all our outlets."

On Wednesday another group of colleagues grabbed the cups of iced mocha from Geisha Specialty Coffee in Selegie and one of them found a cockroach inside the drink.

On that day the group of three colleagues went out for lunch and while going back to the office Choo Jin Ting, 26, a content writer, noticed some sediment in the drink. First, he thought that those little bits of things his drink could be tea leaves or chocolate. But, while chewing he realised that it was not dissolving in his mouth.

"When I spat it out, I saw what looked like bits of a cockroach. But I didn't want to believe that it was," Choo said. But when the group saw all the body parts of the cockroach, they also threw their drinks away.

In reply, Geisha Specialty Coffee said that this was the first time the cafe had such an incident and they assured that it will not happen again.

The food outlets in Singapore should recall the hygiene practices and guidelines set by the National Environment Agency (NEA). The Points Demerit System (PDS) is a systematic and fair approach to deal with the suspension and cancellation of licences for food hygiene infringements. It also seeks to motivate licensees to improve their hygiene standards.

Under PDS, depending on the seriousness of the offences committed by any food outlet, demerit points are given for each public health offence. For minor offences zero points, major offences 4 demerit points and for serious offences 6 demerit points.

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 cancelled, depending on his past record of suspension.

This article was first published on December 27, 2018