The National Environment Agency (NEA) has lifted the suspension for Hotpot Culture Restaurant in Marina Square Shopping Mall.
The Chinese restaurant was earlier suspended on 9 January by NEA after the discovery of a rat carcass in one of its dishes was made known to the agency.
The restaurant had earlier explained the incident by stating that the preparation of the salted vegetable dish which the rat was found in it, requires it to be cooked the day before and then heated up to serve on the actual day. However, the salted vegetable dish cannot be fully covered overnight as it would turn sour the next day. Due to this reason, the restaurant leaves a small gap to let it ‘breathe’. A rat entered from the gap and the staff did not check before heating and serving the dish.
The restaurant hope that it would be given a chance to learn and improve from this incident, so as to serve its customers better and assure the public that such an incident will not happen again.
All food items that require overnight cooking has since been permanently removed from its menu.
It is to be noted that rat activity was not only within the area of the restaurant. NEA said earlier in January that rat activity was detected through their inspections in the false ceilings of 14 food and beverage establishments at the shopping mall and at one of its bin centres.
Local media, TODAY reported that managers of a restaurant on the second floor said they first reported the problem to the management last June. The restaurant was catching three rats a week, they said. The rats enter the premises by biting through the ceiling boards, which have been replaced more than once.
NEA said in a statement that its latest inspection of the Hotpot Culture Restaurant at Marina Square Shopping Mall found it to be clean with no signs of rat activity. It also said that it has applied for a court summons against the restaurant's licensee for the sale of food which is unfit for human consumption.
If convicted, the licensee can be fined up to $10,000 and issued with six demerit points.
The restaurant has said that they will be holding an ‘Open House Event’ on Friday, 6 February where everyone can dine at the restaurant without any charges to show their sincerity to the public.
Furthermore, all its 18,000 members will get 20% discount off all buffets instead of 10% for the month of February and March 2015.
Porridge Lunch Operation: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Steamboat Dinner Operation: 6:30pm – 10:00pm
The restaruant is also offering a full refund to all customers who dined at Hotpot Culture on 9 January 2015. Customers would have to kindly e-mail the restaruant at [email protected] with the following details:
- Full name as I/C number (to address cheque)
- Scan of Receipt
- Address for Hotpot Culture to send cheque to