Food caterer fined $4,800 for hygiene lapses says dirty boxes left by 'disgruntled ex-staff member'

Rasel Catering blamed a former employee after the company was fined $4,800 on Wednesday (July 19) for hygiene lapses found on its premises last year.

In November, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) received reports of gastroenteritis involving 345 persons after consuming food prepared by Rasel Catering.

MOH and SFA conducted a joint investigation at its premises and found several hygiene lapses, including cockroach infestations, usage of a dirty food container and the presence of pathogens in ready-to-eat food items.

SFA suspended the company's food business operations from Nov 18 to Dec 29, and directed the licensee to rectify the lapses and take necessary measures to improve the food safety practices and the cleanliness of its premises.

SFA also adjusted the food shop's food hygiene grade from “A” to “C”.

Rasel Catering Singapore Pte Ltd was fined $4,800 by the Court today for multiple hygiene lapses. In Nov 2022, the...

Posted by Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Wednesday, July 19, 2023


On Thursday, Rasel Catering managing director Alan Tan apologised on Facebook for the "inconvenience and discomfort caused" by the gastroenteritis case.

He added: "We wish to clarify that this is an isolated once-off event.

"Pertaining to the dirty boxes and cockroaches found, it was found that these boxes had been left in a corner by a disgruntled ex-staff member who had resigned just two days before the SFA inspection.

"These boxes were meant to be disposed off upon his departure from the company. Unfortunately, the staff's negligence led to this regrettable situation.

"Our investigation also revealed that two staff members were infected with Norovirus, and one staff member contracted the Salmonella virus."

Mr Tan also said that the company has implemented substantial improvements in food safety including the upgrade, renovation, sanitisation of kitchen and equipment amounting to about $200,000; and the increase of food hygiene officers from one to four.

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