Diner sees cockroach in rice from Woodlands restaurant -- then finds 4 more after digging

Submitted by Stomper M

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Dig in, they said.

Well, it's lucky that that's what Stomper M literally did.

M said she ordered four packets of rice from Hai Zhong Bao restaurant's Wave 9 outlet in Woodlands on August 27. The delivery order was made via GrabFood at around 3pm and meant for dinner later.

The Stomper, who paid $43.80 including a $5.80 service fee, recounted: "When I opened up the dried chilli chicken cube rice I saw a small cockroach on top. So I dug further to see if there were any more. To my horror, I found more."

M then called the restaurant.

She said: "The staff quickly said they would refund me and asked for my phone number to PayNow me. The staff then transferred me back $38.

"I said my mum had already eaten one piece of the chicken. What if something happened to her? The staff said to call them back if there was anything and they would pay for our medical bills.

"I also told the staff that they better check their kitchen now or more people would be affected.

"At that moment, I did not know what to do so I Googled for help. I then reported this to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and thought I would warn other people through Stomp as well.

"Do open your eyes big big to see this restaurant's rice before consuming."

According to M, she saw a total of five cockroaches in her rice.

She described the incident as "very gross" and ended up throwing away the rest of her food, adding: "If it was just one cockroach, I can give them chance. But it's more than one. I cannot let them continue to sell food with such hygiene standards."

M reiterated: "It's super gross."

In response to a Stomp query, a spokesman for Hai Zhong Bao said: "Although there was a time lag of over five hours from the time the Grab order was picked up and us receiving the report, we are equally upset about the incident.

"We have taken additional actions to insure all food coming from our kitchens are of high quality."

SFA told Stomp in a statement on Monday (Sept 4): "SFA had inspected the food establishment and did not detect any pest infestation.

"Nevertheless, the food operator was reminded to ensure that their premises is free of pest infestation. Enforcement action will be taken against the licensee for a food safety lapse in the cleanliness and maintenance of their premises.

"Food safety is a joint responsibility. While SFA puts in place and enforces the regulatory measures, food operators must play their part by adhering to good food hygiene and preparation practices."

Members of the public who come across any potentially errant food operator should lodge a report with SFA via its online feedback form.

SFA said it takes a serious view towards food safety and will investigate all feedback alleging poor food safety practices, adding: "As part of the enquiry and gathering of evidence, SFA may engage the feedback provider for more details and will not hesitate to take enforcement action if sufficient evidence has been obtained."