NEA checks find rodent activity in false ceilings of 14 food shops and stalls at Marina Square

Rats have posed a problem recently in Singapore, with an infestation in Bukit Batok drawing a lot of attention, followed soon after by news that a dead rodent was found in a vegetable dish at a restaurant in Marina Square. -- ST FILE PHOTO
Rats have posed a problem recently in Singapore, with an infestation in Bukit Batok drawing a lot of attention, followed soon after by news that a dead rodent was found in a vegetable dish at a restaurant in Marina Square. -- ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE - Inspections by the National Environment Agency (NEA) have found rodent activity in the false ceilings of 14 food shops and food stalls at Marina Square and at one of the mall's bin centres.

The checks followed the discovery of a dead rat in a vegetable dish at the mall's Hotpot Culture restaurant earlier this month.

The NEA said enforcement action will be taken against three premises, one of which was found with rat droppings and another two, which were found to be dirty.

The rest were cautioned to ensure proper housekeeping, food storage and waste management, an NEA spokesman said. An advisory on pest prevention and control measures was also distributed to the store operators.

The shopping mall's management has also intensified pest control measures and has requested its tenants to submit pest control reports for monitoring. The false ceiling has also been sealed to prevent rodents from entering the premises.

It is not the first time Marina Square has come under the spotlight for rodent activity. In September 2014, the NEA received feedback from one of its tenants regarding a rodent sighted in his food shop.

A thorough inspection in October 2014, which covered 77 licensed food shops and food stalls in the mall, resulted in enforcement action being taken against 12 stores with evidence of rodent activity and four food premises found to have food scraps on the floor.

No further feedback was received until the Hotpot Culture restaurant incident.

The NEA spokesman added: "All stakeholders, including building management and food shop operators must put in place a good system of housekeeping, refuse management and routine pest control checks and treatment."

The NEA said it will continue to monitor the situation.