SFA takes enforcement actions against Fernvale chicken rice stall that has been Stomped 3 times

Submitted by Stomper Amos

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The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has taken enforcement actions against a chicken rice stall at Fernvale Hawker Centre & Market following feedback from multiple Stompers.

The third and latest complaint came from Stomper Amos, who visited Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice on March 3.

Amos recounted: "I heard a loud commotion when the cashier, an old Chinese man, shouted aggressively at another customer for using CDC vouchers to pay.

"I immediately looked up the name of the chicken rice stall and read numerous online complaints about its unprofessional hawkers failing to wear masks.

"I also noticed that the majority of the stall's staff did not cover their faces with masks when I was there.

"Worse still, the cashier was coughing non-stop while I was in the queue. He looked like he was ill."

Amos said he left and patronised another stall "which practiced good hygiene" instead, adding: "Maybe because it was Sunday, these hawkers assumed SFA officers would not visit them. The authorities should do something about this."

This comes after two earlier Stomp reports in which diners shared similar concerns.

Stomper Jerald, who visited the stall on Feb 25, said: "I wish to highlight that the male food handler at the counter did not wear his mask and was coughing the whole time."

Separately, Stomper Shuhui said after her Jan 28 visit: "I was at the stall and instantly noticed that the uncle at the counter did not wear his mask and was constantly coughing into customers' food.

All three Stompers shared photos of staff at the stall not wearing masks or not putting them on properly.

In response to a Stomp query, SFA said it has carried out "several inspections" at the premises and taken enforcement actions against the licensee for its food handlers' failure to comply with the mask/spit guard requirements.

SFA told Stomp on March 22: "The licensee has been reminded to ensure that all food handlers involved in Ready-To-Eat (RTE) food preparation comply with the mask/spit guard requirements as stipulated under the licensing conditions, and that enforcement actions will be taken against those who fail to do so.

"Since April 2020, SFA has made it a requirement for all food handlers involved in RTE food preparation to wear masks/spit guard, for food safety.

"Personnel not involved in the preparation/handling of RTE food (e.g. cashiers, waiters, hawkers selling raw and/or non-RTE market produce etc) are not required to put on mask/spit guard."

More info on the wearing of masks or spit guards by food handlers can be found on SFA's website.

"Food safety is a joint responsibility," SFA added.

"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. Food operators should also ensure their premises are clean and well-maintained."

Members of the public who have concerns about food safety practices by food operators should report to 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.

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.