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NTUC Fairprice acknowledges viral video of pork in halal chiller and apologises for supplier’s mistake

Responding to viral video showing pork in a chiller meant for halal meat, NTUC FairPrice confirmed the authenticity of the content shown in the video and shared that necessary measures are done to rectify the issue.

In the video, which was uploaded to a Facebook by Ms Sarri Maria on Tuesday (14 August), showed bags of pork inside a chiller which was meant only to store halal food.

Ms Sarri, who received the video from WhatsApp, wrote, "Thank you to the person who sent this video. He must have taken it secretly. It looks like the video was taken from NTUC supermarket."

Ms Sarri then asked for Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) response regarding this matter.

In the Facebook post acknowledging the content of the viral video, NTUC FairPrice wrote, "We have received feedback of a video circulating on social media regarding the storage of non-halal meat in a halal dedicated storage chiller. The video was taken at our North Point City store on 13 August,"

The supermarket chain explains that there are currently two separate chillers in the store, adding that the non-halal chiller was being serviced that morning and some meat items were wrongly stored in the halal chiller for 30 minutes by its supplier.

"We have strict guidelines in managing halal products and this is not in accordance to our practice. We do not condone such action and will follow-up with the supplier,"

It noted that while there was no physical contact between the products, it has nonetheless discarded all the affected halal items and a proper cleaning of the chiller was also done in accordance to the ritual advised by MUIS.

"We apologize for the inconvenience and concerns caused in this isolated incident. We have also reminded all staff as well as our suppliers to adhere to our guidelines when handling halal products," it added.

However, this post gained some reaction from members of the public on NTUC Facebook page. Some asked the store's decision to discarded the items.

Danny Soh wrote, "Why throw the items? Sell them as non halal products or donate to the many charitable homes who do not require halal products?"

Jasmine Wong wrote, "Why must the halal products be disposed of? They can still be sold in the non-halal section."

Larry Lum wrote, "Why dont give those halal items affected to the poor?"

Zheng Shujuan wrote, "I don't mind to take if you give me free as long is not spoilt. Why throw? You should set an example of not wasting food."

Meanwhile Mr Rosli Husain posted questions regarding the matter,

"I have the following questions:

1) Since you only have 2 chillers (1 Halal and 1 Non Halal). How would you then store the products when one of the chiller is down. This could also be the reverse (Meaning, if the Halal chiller is down.How will you store the products?)

2) You said that you have strict guidelines managing the Halal products. This incident did not reflect this statement you made. Obviously, there is no check and balance to ensure correct execution of your SOP.

3)I am also not in favour of NTUC discarding the Halal products that have been "contaminated". However, how do we know that what you said was done (Because, clearly you failed badly in the "managing" part)."