Patron alleges cleaners use same cloths for tables and trays at AMK food centre:'Sour' stench overwhelms the food aroma"

A customer alleged that cleaners at an Ang Mo Kio hawker centre use the same cloths for both the wiping of dirty tables and cleaning trays.

The customer, Mr Chen, 46, said he noticed a ‘sour’ odour from the plates during his visits. 

According to Mr Chen, cleaners at Kebun Baru Food Centre situated at Block 226H Ang Mo Kio Street 22, not only use the same cloth for soiled tables, but also discarded tissues left behind by customers to clean the trays.

In an interview with Lianhe Wanbao, Mr Chen said:

“I visited the place at least twice a week.

“About three months ago, I caught a whiff of a ‘sour’ stench.

“I thought the food had gone bad and stopped eating.”

After the first unpleasant encounter, Mr Chen did not visit the same hawker centre in the following weeks.

In September, Mr Chen decided to give the place a second chance. 

Again, he noticed a repulsive odour after his first few mouthfuls of food. 

He checked for the source of the smell and came to the conclusion that it was coming from the tray.

Mr Chen elaborated on the revolting stench:

“It smelt like perspiration, or someone who hadn’t bathed for days.

“I was disgusted after smelling it and it killed my appetite.“

When reporters visited the hawker centre, they found a foul smell emitted from some trays.

Some even had sauces and rice grains stuck on them.

Reporters also noticed that each cleaner would carry two cloths --- one for cleaning tables, and another for the trays —- but would only use one to wipe both tables and trays. 

Another cleaner was also spotted using a soiled tissue left behind by a patron to clean a tray.