A food caterer was fined S$5,000 (US$3,650) yesterday after inspectors discovered an infestation of cockroaches and houseflies in its kitchen, and exposed food contaminated with water dripping from the ceiling.
Other lapses found during the June inspection of AG (Global) Events Catering included improper thawing of raw meat, water leaking from a poorly maintained chiller, and exposed raw ingredients placed on the floor, the Singapore Food Agency said in a statement.
Damaged flooring and wall tiles at the premises were also found to be dirty, the agency added.
All finished food products, semi-processed food items, and raw ingredients were thrown out during the inspection of the Admiralty Street kitchen, and its operating license suspended 27 days to make sure the caterer has “rectified the lapses and taken measures to improve the cleanliness of its premises,” the agency said.
This was not the first time the company was fined over unhygienic conditions, The New Paper reported. Business owner Adrian Lim Teck, 42, was issued warnings and fines in 2017 as well as last year, when his operating license was suspended 10 days in December.
But this was Lim’s first time being convicted in court, where he pleaded guilty to two charges under the Sale of Food Act for improperly storing food and poorly maintaining the premises.
During mitigation, Lim’s excuse for the filthy kitchen was that he was busy trying to get more business, the report added. Prosecutors had sought a larger fine from the court of S$6,000.
The company was established in 2011 and has catered well-known events and companies in its early years. In 2012, it provided food for a ceremony welcoming popular pandas Jia Jia and Kai Kai to Singapore, its website says. A year later, it became the official caterer for the Standard Chartered Marathon.
Under Singapore law, food hygiene and safety offenses carry maximum fines of S$5,000 per count and an additional fine of up to S$100 for each day they go uncorrected.