Catering firm fined S$5,000 for improper food storage and poor maintenance

Catering company AG (Global) Events Catering was fined S$5,000 today for the improper storage of food and poor maintenance of its premises.

In a statement by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) (16 October), a routine inspection of the AG’s premises by the SFA on 19 June revealed several lapses including the improper thawing of raw mean, contamination of uncovered cooked food by condensate from unclean ceiling and improper storage of uncovered raw ingredients on the floor.

SFA also found an infestation of live cockroaches and houseflies on the premises as well as structural damages on flooring and wall tiles that were also dirty and poor maintenance of the chiller system leading to water leakage.

According to the statement, all food products including semi-processed food and raw ingredients were disposed of immediately.

AG’s operating license was suspended for 27 days from 20 June to 16 July, with the suspension being lifted after the lapses were rectified and the cleanliness of the premises was improved.

All food operators are required to ensure their premises are clean and well-maintained, and that staff are adequately trained on proper food safety management. Those who do not adhere to the regulation or comply with food hygiene and safety requirements are liable on conviction to be fined S$5,000. There will also be a further fine of S$100 a day if the offence continues after conviction.

In September, SFA suspended the operating licenses of Mum’s Kitchen Catering Pte Ltd and its subsidiary company , Cherish Delights Pte Ltd following two separate outbreaks of gastroenteritis involving a total of 40 cases where affected individuals consumed food from the two companies between 31 August and 4 September. An investigation into the cause of the gastroenteritis is still ongoing as no hygiene lapses were found during SFA’s inspection of both premises.

Also in September, SFA suspended the license of a hawker food stall in Newton Food Centre after the licensee had accumulated 12 demerit points in 12 months, 6 points each for failing to register and assistant on twice. The licensee was also fined a total S$800.

Earlier this year, the SFA also suspended Kate’s Catering Pte Ltd after a salmonella enteritidis food poisoning outbreak which occurred between 19 to 28 March, traces back to food prepared at the company. The outbreak involved 259 cases of food poisoning, 33 of which were hospitalised and subsequently discharged.

Lapses found included improper thawing of frozen meat, inconsistency in cooking times, and lack of proper measures to check if the food was properly cooked. After SFA was satisfied with the rectification of the lapses, SFA lifted the suspension which lasted a total of 52 days.