Rat as long as 'almost a 500ml water bottle' spotted at Vietnamese food stall in AMK

Wallace Woon
The Straits Times
May 21, 2023

A “water bottle-sized” rat gave the jitters to diners in Ang Mo Kio on Friday after they spotted the rodent scurrying about a food display shelf at a Vietnamese sandwich stall.

Mr Melvin Lee was at the Banh Mi Saigon stall in an Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 coffee shop at about 8.45pm when he heard the sound of plastic packaging rustling on the shelf.

The 34-year-old, who is self-employed, thought it was caused by the wind but, when the noise persisted, he stood up to get a closer look.

That was when Mr Lee spotted something dark moving and realised that a rat was crawling about the packages of instant noodles and rice paper.

He told The Straits Times: “It (the rat) was actually quite big. The estimated length was almost a 500ml water bottle.”

“Immediately, we stood up and got away from the seats as the shelf was very near us. In fact, the rat also jumped up to the beam near the wall and moved around the entire shelf freely.”

Other patrons were also disgusted and moved away from the display shelf, he said.

Mr Lee, who was patronising the stall for the first time with his partner, said at least one packet of instant noodles had been bitten open.

A video of the rat, which he posted on Tiktok on Saturday, has racked up more than 100,000 views.

In the comments section, many commended him for highlighting the incident so that others would be aware of the stall’s rodent situation.

He informed a staff member about the rat and was told that the matter would be looked into later. He has filed a complaint with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

In a post on its Facebook page at around 4.10pm on Sunday, Banh Mi Saigon offered its apologies.

The post said: “Upon discovery of the rodent, the staff immediately informed the management and thus alerted the pest control to come down to do an inspection, and can assure you that the shop and food preparation area are not affected.

“We have also engaged cleaning and sanitising services in addition to our own thorough cleaning of all our equipment and premises on the day itself.”

ST has contacted SFA for comment.

The Straits Times

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.