Woodlands coffee shop owner fined for illegally operating supermarket in eatery, importing meat

A coffee shop owner was caught unlawfully operating a supermarket within its premises and selling meat products that had been illegally imported into Singapore.

Keadkiaw Pensri, the coffee shop's sole proprietor, was fined $8,000 on May 15.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said officers found about 148kg of meat products within the premises of Thai Khaneng Coffeshop, located at 1 Woodlands Industrial Park E2, on July 12, 2023.

The products, which included meat balls and sausages, were illegally imported from Thailand without a valid import licence. They were seized by SFA.

The officers also discovered that the supermarket operating within the coffee shop had no valid SFA supermarket licence.

SFA said food imports in Singapore must meet its requirements, adding: "Illegally imported food products of unknown sources can pose a food safety risk.

"Food can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit.

"In addition, meat and its products can only be imported from accredited sources in approved countries that comply with our food safety standards and requirements."

Those who import meat products illegally without a valid licence may face a fine not exceeding $50,000 and/or up to two years in jail.

Repeat offenders may face a fine not exceeding $100,000 and/or up to three years in jail.

SFA added: "All food establishments in Singapore including supermarkets must be licensed to operate. Every licensee shall use the licensed premises only for the purpose for which the licence is granted."

Those convicted of contravening or failing to comply with the licence granted may be fined up to $2,000.

Offenders may be fined up to $100 for every day the offence continues after conviction.