In a letter to the Editor dated 6 July, a reader named Kiat Tay has raised concerns regarding the distribution of expired fresh chicken drumsticks by volunteers from the Workers Party in Bedok.
Kiat Tay said that according to a friend of his who is a resident of Bedok, it was noted that the expiry date of the chicken had lapsed since a month ago.
According to Kiat Tay’s account of his friend’s statement, the friend in question sought to verify whether or not he was the only resident who had received the expired chicken.
It was found that the other neighbours, upon being asked, had checked the expiry date and concurred that they, too, have received the same batch of expired chicken.
He added that much of the bulk of the expired chicken was distributed to the residents of Block 556 and Block 557 at Bedok North.
He concluded his letter by urging that the message to be spread “in case there are others who [have also] collected the spoilt chicken” who might not be aware that the chicken is no longer safe for consumption, and might subsequently fall ill as a result due to food poisoning.
Secretary-General of Workers' Party (WP) and Chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, Mr Pritam Singh has responded to queries regarding the letter, confirming that while the allegation made by Kiat Tay is not false, the complete picture of the incident is missing from Kiat Tay’s account.
In an email correspondence with The Online Citizen, Mr Singh said that the matter was brought up to him on 2 June by a WP member who was partaking in the distribution of foodstuffs to families in need in Marine Parade GRC for Hari Raya celebrations.
He stated that upon noticing that the batches of chicken intended for distribution had already passed their expiry date for a month, the party member’s team had promptly decided to alert “all [of] the recipients to dispose [of] the chicken”.
It was understood that the number of residents who were affected was approximately 20 people.
According to Mr Singh, he had made a query into “the oversight from the WP volunteers and coordinators in charge”.
He was informed that “some private donors from Waterview Condo[minium] had sponsored a food distribution event” on the same day as a "part of a charity drive for low-income residents in WP wards" and areas where the party had previously contested.
However, the expiry date of a total of 275 chickens that were distributed was overlooked.
The recipients of the chicken, which included residents staying in Marine Parade, Fengshan, Kaki Bukit and Bedok South, were all contacted and informed to dispose of the chicken, according to Mr Singh.
He added that the volunteers had either called or visited the affected recipients, starting on the evening of 2 June and ending the rounds by late afternoon on 3 June.
In a bid to rectify the oversight, a new batch of fresh chicken was delivered to the affected recipients by the organisers of the charity event on 9 June.
Mr Singh concluded his response with an acknowledgement by the WP volunteer team involved in the distribution, who believed that they should have been more careful in terms of inspecting the expiry date of the batches of chicken prior to distributing them to the residents.